The website that took online orders for German hairy crabs apologized to customers yesterday after failing to deliver on its promise.
Juhuasuan.com, a group buying website under China’s biggest e-commerce platform taobao.com, said in a Weibo microblog that it could not get the necessary clearance from the Chinese authorities and was forced to cancel the deal. Customers can get a full refund plus a 30 percent compensation based on the value of their orders.
“We are sorry about the German hairy crab issue. We screwed it up,” said Zhang Jianfeng, CEO of juhuasuan.com, in the statement yesterday.
Zhang said they failed in their efforts to import the crabs from Germany because the company had not been very thoughtful about the process of importing them on such a large scale.
As a result, about 35,000 orders, worth more than 9 million yuan (US$1.47 million), from 20,000 customers had to be canceled.
The money will be deposited in the customers’ Alipay account before Friday, the statement said.
China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said it did not give any permission for importing German hairy crabs to China. But the importer insisted that the German authorities had issued a quarantine certificate. The German company involved in the deal got the original production place certificate while the Chinese importer only needed an import and export clearance.
“Hairy crabs are live animals. Therefore, there are a series of inspection and quarantine procedures involved. Our original plan was too optimistic and our innovative pre-sale campaign needs more time to get used to the market,” Zhang said. “Once approved, we will make another sales promotion,” he added.
The website started selling coupons around August 20. In about three days, they received more than 300,000 orders.
Source: Hangzhou International Center