E-commerce Web site Taobao Taiwan (淘寶台灣) is under investigation by the Investment Commission, which on Sunday said that it received a report that a Chinese investor holds a more than 30 percent stake in the company, in contravention of Taiwanese law.
Taobao Taiwan was launched last year by Claddagh Venture Investment Co (克雷達投資), which is registered in the UK and reportedly linked to China’s Taobao Marketplace (淘寶), which is run by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴).
According to the complaint, Taobao Taiwan shares a platform with Taobao Marketplace, which means there is technically no independence, an Investment Commission official said.
The commission, in collaboration with the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), has been gathering data and information in a probe into the matters and the issue of Taobao Taiwan’s ownership, the official said.
Under Taiwan’s law, Chinese investors must obtain permission from the government to directly or indirectly acquire a stake of more than 30 percent in any Taiwanese company, the official said.
Taobao Taiwan spokesman Ko Chung-ning (柯中甯) denied the allegations that Taobao Taiwan and Taobao Marketplace share a platform and privacy agreement.
The two companies have different platforms and people who register on Taobao Taiwan do not need to sign a privacy agreement with Taobao Marketplace in China, Ko said.
Some products on Taobao Taiwan are sold by overseas suppliers and the privacy agreement is aimed at regulating those companies and ensuring the quality of their products sold to Taiwanese, he said.
The terms of the agreement apply mainly to overseas suppliers, not to shoppers in Taiwan, he said.
Taobao Taiwan sells a wide selection of products, ranging from clothing and stationery to kitchenware and home appliances.
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