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4 IT staffs in Alibaba got fired because of 124 boxes of mooncake

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August 15th of traditional Chinese lunar calendar is Mid-Autumn Festival in China. Mooncake is a kind of meaningful food for celebrating this festival, it means a joyous, peaceful family reunion day. However, there are 4 IT staffs in Alibaba got fired at the day before Mid-Autumn Festival, the dismissal reason is, these 4 IT security staffs had written a JavaScript( JS) program and bought 124 boxes of Ali-brand mooncake by “click firming”.


Speaking of “click farming”, most of experienced online buyers know the “click farm” on Taobao, it is a group to click on particular parts of web pages, approval buttons in social media, or making fake online transaction records as a way of making businesses. Over a third of buyers regularly check ratings and reviews before they make decisions to buy online. The growing significance of this virtual seal of approval for enhancing sales has unleashed a rather unscrupulous business activity. Rather than waiting for real buyers to leave their approval of the products and services, the sellers prefer to hire “click farm”.

However, “click farming”, this behavior is one of the unwelcomed on Taobao. For the 4 dismissal Alibaba IT security staffs, we felt regretted and confused while fist time heard that news. Mooncake is not an expensive thing, and the 4 staffs still need to pay after they placing orders, one of the dismissal said:” I was just want 1 box of mooncake, but I forgot to stop the JS program when I left to work, when I was back, I saw my screen, there are orders, I was going to cancel the orders because I just need 1, anyway, I was called to talk with HR, and was fired in a short time.” Though this wording hasn’t been proved, both the parties involved and bystanders are feeling sorry for that.

Obviously, “click farming” is not only a kind of dishonest performance, it but also destroy rules. It is sensitive especially for the E-commerce company like Alibaba. CCTV news has already exposed this phenomenon this year. After that, Alibaba responded that they would adopt a series of measures to strengthen the management of this behavior. Previously, there has been a speculation that behind the “click farming” phenomenon, there may be inner staffs contributed to it and even in deep engagement. Before we get evidences, it is hard to make a conclusion. But staffs were caught because “click farming” for internal staff welfare, whether or not from a certain extent, shows that some employees are not only have technology skills, but also their professional ethics and integrity are not so convincing?

Alibaba give a response to this event:” Staffs working in IT security department are the rule  defenders of this platform, using tools to cheat is to touch the baseline of integrity, totally violate their responsibility.” Apparently, Alibaba see the viciousness of “click farming”, so they made that decision. No matter from the moral level or common sense, such dealing is understandable, it warns other staffs and in the same time, protects the benefits of consumers and comsumption environment.



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