The Hangzhou sub-branch of the People's Bank of China, the county's central bank, recently disclosed a notice of administrative penalties which listed Alibaba Group's (NYSE: BABA) affiliate e-payment platform Alipay as being fined RMB 180,000 for violations related to consumer protection, product promotions (misleading advertising), and information privacy. The specific violations were as follows:
1. Consumer Protection: Inadequate protection of the consumer's right to information and right to make autonomous choices (freedom of choice).
2. Product Promotions: Video-ads and Alipay's official Weibo microblogging account containing misleading content, as well as inaccurately calculating the number of complaints handled thereby leading to the publishing of false data.
3. Information Privacy: Failing to conform with the principles of only collecting minimal and necessary personal financial information, as well as misusing such data.
According to the regulations, these violations resulted in fines of RMB 30,000, RMB 100,000 and RMB 50,000 respectively.