Alibaba's Tmall marketplace halts online medicine sales

Updated: 2016-05-31 14:20

By Meng Jing(

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has ceased online sales of medicines on its Tmall platform, citing changes in government regulation.

Tmall has received a notice from the China Food and Drug Administration's (CFDA) Hebei province branch, requiring "urgent control measures relating to drug products".

In a statement on Tuesday, website management said they would cooperate and stop the online medicine retail business on the third-party platform.

The new regulations come as a surprise as an increasing number of e-commerce companies plan to tap into the online sales of over-the-counter medicines. The CFDA did not elaborate on the reason why sales were halted.

An industrial insider, who refused to be named, said the regulation did not only apply to Tmall. Other e-commerce companiesinvolved in selling drugs on third-party platforms, such as, are expected to receive similar orders from local food and drug authorities.