RT-Mart, which is majority owned by Alibaba and headquartered in Jinan city, East China’s Shandong Province, has been penalized by Jinan Administration of Market Regulation, and put in the list of enterprises identified as conducting serious illicit activities, the regulator announced on Saturday.
Jinan’s market regulator will fine RT-Mart a total of 1.39 million yuan ($214,777) and penalize five operators and managers a total of 926,552.95 yuan, for violations of the Food Safety Law and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law.
The announcement showed that RT-Market in Jinan was found to have sold expired pork and pork products to customers. RT-Mart apologized via its official social media account on August 16 and promised to remove all expired pork products.
Alibaba in 2017 bought 36.16 percent of the shares of Sun Art Retail Group, RT-Mart’s parent company, with HK$ 22.4 billion and made Alibaba its biggest investor.
Later in 2020, Alibaba increased its investment HK$ 28 billion, taking a controlling stake of Sun Art Retail Group, according to a report published in the China Securities Journal.
The report also noted that RT-Mart had previously received multiple penalties from market regulators. A RT-Mart store in Shanghai was penalized after it was found to be engaged in selling defective goods in March 2021.
Source: Global Times