Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, YouTube, Snapdel Named in Illegal Wildlife Trade in India

Illegal Wildlife Trade

(Photo : Reuters) Indian authorities have accused several top e-commerce platforms of facilitating illegal trade in wildlife.

Several prominent e-commerce platforms have been named by the Indian government as outlets used to facilitate the illegal trade of wild animals and their body parts. The Indian government released a list consisting of 106 websites that it believes are involved in the illegal trade. Among the major platforms included are Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Snapdeal, and even the video-sharing website YouTube.

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The Indian government released the comprehensive list as part of the country's effort to crackdown on the trade in illegal products as well as other cybercrime operations.

According to CNet, India;s Environmental Minister Anil Madhav Dave told the country's parliament that the agency has already notified the involved websites about the issue in May. The minister added that most of these websites have already removed the questionable products from their platforms.

Companies like Alibaba and Amazon have publicly expressed their commitment to removing user accounts that trade contrabands on their respective platforms. However, several of these e-commerce websites are still the preferred marketplace for people dealing in the illegal trade which sometimes involve drugs and ivory.

In 2012, as part of the Chinese government's effort to lower and monitor illegal wildlife trading, tech companies like Alibaba, Tencent, and Sina agreed to impose a zero-tolerance policy on their platforms.

Following the agreement between the Chinese government and several tech companies, illegal wildlife advertisements on Chinese websites dropped significantly from almost 60,000 in 2012 to less than 10,000 in late 2014. Despite this success, several wildlife advocacy groups discovered that since e-commerce websites are beginning to regulate their users, the illegal trade simply diverted their focus to social media platforms. According to Tech Node, China's most popular social media platform, WeChat, is one of the most commonly used avenues to facilitate such illegal trades.

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