Alibaba’s second-hand app under fire over explicit messages aimed at user’s daughter

By Rachel Zhang
1 min read
The user received this photo of a man kissing a photo of her daughter via Xianyu. (Image credit: Hongxing News)

Alibaba’s second-hand e-commerce platform has come under the spotlight after a user went to the police over explicit and aggressive messages that targeted her daughter, reported Hongxing News. The user had been using the Xianyu app to sell her daughter’s old clothes and had encountered such messages in the past. However, the extreme nature of recent messages made her fear for her family’s safety.

Why it matters: The case demonstrates the fine balance between protecting user safety and maintaining an open marketplace for China’s used good selling platform operators.

  • The companies may be overlooking key safety issues and criminal activity as they vie for market share. Xianyu users have been caught selling unlicensed medicine and cigarettes, as well as solicitation and used underwear in recent years.
  • Other operators in China’s fast-growing second hand online goods market include JD.Com and 58.Com’s Zhuanzhuan.

Details: User Zhang Qian has been using the platform for years to sell clothes bought for her daughter, a former child model. Although she had received unpleasant messages before, one user persistently threatened her daughter which sexual abuse earlier this month, even creating multiple new accounts after Zhang blocked him.

  • Zhang said that because her personal address is on each package she sends out, she feels especially vulnerable.
  • The user has sold over 200 items of clothing over two years. However, she has been increasingly receiving disturbing messages such as requests for videos of her daughter’s feet.
  • Shenzhen police has arrested the person and the case is ongoing.