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Trade Ministry fines online sellers hiking prices of face masks and hand sanitiser

Sellers hiking the prices of face masks and hand sanitiser on some e-commerce websites have been fined.


A seller on offers a box of face masks for VND2.7 million (US$116). — Photo ndh



Sellers hiking the prices of face masks and hand sanitiser on some e-commerce websites have been fined.

According to the Department of E-commerce and Digital Economy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), violations were found on,,,,, and Sellers were allegedly taking advantage of the coronavirus epidemic to raise prices of protective goods.

The department said the move was to prevent stores from selling these products at high prices amid the outbreak.

As of February 24, after reviewing a total of 463,865 online sellers, the team found 5,200 that increased prices on 21,000 products.

There were more than 400 sellers increasing prices for 4,000 medical masks and 100 hiking prices for more than 1,500 hand gel products on

Similarly, on, 3,000 stalls were found charging high prices for 3,500 masks and more than 400 stalls selling hand gel products at unreasonable prices.

A seller on offered a box of face masks for VND2.7 million (US$116), while the normal price was just VND250,000 earlier this month. The seller was fined.

About 1,000 sellers on other e-commerce platforms were also fined.

On February 19, the department checked 223,597 sellers and found 5,000 of them were offering more than 20,000 products at exorbitant prices.

Since the end of January, the COVID-19 epidemic has killed more than 2,600 people and infected nearly 79,000 others, impacting local consumer behaviour and raising interest in personal hygiene products.

According to global data and consulting company Kantar Worldpanel, online shopping platforms and delivery services are predicted to witness growth in both shopper base and incremental spending by attracting new shoppers who have never shopped online, and by increased or upgraded spending from existing online shoppers. — VNS

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