Ecommerce law may include shops on social media: Report

Ecommerce law may include shops on social media: Report

 Representative image. (Photo/Pixabay)

The government is planning to regulate products and services sold on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and WhatsApp under the new ecommerce law, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs is mulling such a move as the popularity of Facebook Marketplace, Instagram’s Shoppable Posts and WhatsApp Business is growing in India. Also, there has been an increase in the number of complaints registered on the National Consumer Helpline and other portals that track consumer grievances about products sold on marketplaces attached to social networks. 

"We have been getting a lot of complaints regarding scams on social networks and payment apps. This can only be fully solved through education of the consumer," an official told the newspaper. 

In a survey conducted by LocalCircles, 46% of respondents said they had been subject to fraudulent activity while purchasing a product or service through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or other social networks. Over 85% of respondents said social networks should be subject to ecommerce rules and policies like other online retailers such as Flipkart and Amazon.

"There are a large number of products and services being sold on social networks. They (social networks) are facilitating sales through P2P (peer-to-peer) as well as some brands creating storefronts to sell directly to consumers," a person aware of the matter told the publication. These owners will also have to follow the same rules as other marketplaces and ecommerce websites, the person added.