Alibaba Korea rep hauled into court

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Alibaba Korea rep hauled into court


The Korean representative of the world’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba, will be tried for allegedly driving a company out of business after conspiring with another company by unilaterally canceling a contract.

The Seoul prosecutors’ office yesterday said 47-year-old EJ Bae was indicted without arrest for business negligence.

According to the prosecutors’ office, Bae signed an agreement with a Korean company giving it exclusive rights to sign up advertisers for the Alibaba website between September 2011 and December 2013.

The name of the Korean company was not disclosed.

The company performed the role without any problems, and in the first half of 2012 it signed the biggest number of advertisers for Alibaba outside of China.

Alibaba abruptly ended the contract in September 2012.

The Korean company, which relied heavily on the income made from Alibaba, saw its business cut off and its stock price plummet due to the cancelation of the contract. It closed shop in March 2013.

The prosecution said Bae conspired with three former employees of the Korean company.

Bae reportedly had a disagreement with the Korean company’s CEO over the pursuit of new businesses and providing customer information.

Three of the Korean company’s employees from sales and the new business department - described by the family names Ahn, Yoo and Chung - decided to start their own company and win Alibaba’s exclusive contract.

Bae and 49-year-old Ahn allegedly conspired and fed false information about the Korean company to Timothy Leung, head of Alibaba’s global business development.

They accused the company of lying repeatedly and failing to do its job.

The company that Ahn started eventually won Alibaba’s contract.

The three former employees including Ahn were indicted on the same charges as Bae.


BY LEE YOO-JEONG, LEE HO-JEONG [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]

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