The complaint concerns a State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) regulation that forbids e-commerce platforms from limiting or barring their merchants from participating in promotions on other platforms. The regulation came into effect on Oct. 1.
JD.com said in its letter that it has received information from merchants indicating that Alibaba, which dominates Chinese e-commerce, is "forcing merchants" to choose to exclusively deal with one e-commerce site during promotional activities.
If merchants choose to participate in certain promotional activities on Alibaba's Tmall website during the upcoming Singles' Day online shopping event around Nov. 11, they "are not permitted" to participate in other platforms activities, otherwise "Alibaba will carry out punishment or sanctions", JD.com said it had been informed by sellers on its site.
"JD is panicking because Alibaba wins with customers and merchants because we provide a superior experience for users on our platforms," said Jim Wilkinson, senior vice president of international corporate affairs for Alibaba Group.