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How Does Alibaba Dispute Work: Framework - CTD 101 Series

Thu, 04 Nov 2021
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌



Alibaba provides Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) through its Complaint Center.

If you want to resolve disputes through Alibaba, you may encounter the following four stages: online mediation, making decisions, enforcing decisions, and raising objections to decisions.

For more information, you may read 4 Things You Have to Know on How to File a Dispute on Alibaba.

1. The buyer and the seller may apply for Alibaba to submit a dispute to mediation

In case of any dispute arising from the online cross-border transactions conducted through Alibaba by the buyer and the seller, either party may apply for Alibaba to provide online dispute mediation services, and Alibaba will act as a mediator and make a decision therefor.

Alibaba will mediate the dispute according to Transaction Dispute Rules.

2. What decisions can Alibaba make in mediation?

Alibaba can, at its sole discretion, make the following decisions:

(1) Payment of liquidated damages or compensation for actual losses. (Articles 24, 30, 35, 36 and 49 of Transaction Dispute Rules)

(2) Refund, partial refund, return & refund. (Articles 31, 32, 40, 41, 46, 48, 55 and 56 of (1) Payment of liquidated damages or compensation for actual losses. (Articles 24, 30, 35, 36 and 49 of Transaction Dispute Rules)

3. How are Alibaba’s mediation decisions enforced?

If the buyer and the seller accept the Trade Assurance Services provided by Alibaba, Alibaba can make an advance refund to the buyer on behalf of the seller in case of the seller’s breach of contract and refund. The advance payment is limited to the guarantee amount obtained by the seller from Alibaba. (Article 2.4, Part A of Trade Assurance Services Rules)

4. What should you do if you are dissatisfied with Alibaba’s mediation decision?

There are two ways:

Approach A: you can claim against Alibaba, requesting it to make a correct mediation decision and undertake the refund obligation in advance. If so, you will need to apply to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center for arbitration. (Article 10.5 of the Transaction Services Agreement)

Approach B: you can request the counterparty to fulfill obligations according to the transaction contract without involving Alibaba. If so, you need to know the dispute resolution method agreed in your transaction contract, which may usually be litigation in Chinese courts or arbitration.



The Cross-border Trade Dispute 101 Series (‘CTD 101 Series’) provides an introduction to China-related cross-border trade dispute, and covers the knowledge essential to cross-border trade dispute resolution and debt collection.


* * *

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CJO Global's team can provide you with China-related cross-border trade risk management and debt collection services, including: 
(1) Trade Dispute Resolution
(2) Debt Collection
(3) Judgments and Awards Collection
(4) Anti-Counterfeiting & IP Protection
(5) Company Verification and Due Diligence
(6) Trade Contract Drafting and Review

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Photo by Daniele Salutari on Unsplash

Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

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