According to reports, Amazon is investigating claims of it's employees accepting bribes to allow manipulation of customer reviews.
A report in the Wall Street Journal claimed that employees of Amazon China took bribes to allow merchants access to critical information tools such as internal sales metrics and email addresses of reviewers.
Brokers on behalf of employees, who were yet to be identified, the report said, took anywhere from $80- $2000. Some of the brokers also proposed removing negative reviews and even reinstating banned merchant accounts for a cut.
The report published on Sunday does not identify how deep-rooted the malaise was, but said that it observed the practice in Shenzhen in China.
Merchants selling via Amazon's e-commerce platform can certainly sell more products in the event honest and negative reviews are removed.
On Monday, a report appearing in AFP quoted an Amazon spokesperson saying that the company followed stringent practices.
In a template statement, the spokesperson said, "We have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action."
Another spokeswoman, quoted by CNN, said that Amazon had "sophisticated systems to restrict and audit access to information."