Jul 3, 2020|

JD’s Efforts to Combat Wildlife Trade in China Highlighted by WIRED


by Ella Kidron

In a piece published on July 1st, leading popular technology news outlet WIRED, highlighted JD’s efforts to combat wildlife trade across its platform. The article, “Coronavirus could actually do one good thing: save pangolins” focuses on how COVID-19 and associated fears around diseases transmitted by wildlife have kick-started a conversation on illegal wildlife trade in China. The article includes commentary from several well-known wildlife relief organizations and academics on the subject.

JD sees its responsibility as not only regulating the platform, but also educating merchants and consumers against sale or consumption of illegal wildlife. Starting in 2019, JD implemented a pop-up banner system discouraging the consumption of wildlife products. JD is currently in the process of optimizing the poster system. The article quotes a JD spokesperson, “During the epidemic period, due to the lack of searches for such products, the poster automatically was taken offline by the system. JD plans to refine and bring back the poster system in the future.”

WIRED mentions JD’s use of various measures on its platform to both prevent trade and educate consumers. One of these is through keywords. The article writes, “JD.com, China’s largest online retailer, monitors a list of related keywords. If a product name or description is found to have any of these words, the merchant will not be able to upload it.”

JD is committed to the protection of and prohibits the sale of rare and endangered wild animals and plants on its platform. If a merchant is discovered to be selling such items, they will be punished through point deduction, being kicked off the platform, or other measures. In addition to the systems management, JD will also conduct regular manual investigations for these products, as well as for any tools potentially used to hunt wild animals due to their intricate specifications. Finally, if users discover that a merchant is engaged in the sale of wildlife, they can report the issue to JD’s customer service to be dealt with immediately.