In August 2020 Yahoo Japan Corporation (hereinafter “Yahoo! JAPAN”) received a recommendation report (hereinafter the “Report”) calling for information disclosure on online malls, etc., from the Panel on Appropriate Information Disclosure by Digital Platform Operators (established in April 2020; hereinafter the “Panel”) consisting of external experts. Based on the recommendations, the company set forth three actions to achieve higher levels of transparency and fairness, which are now all implemented.
■ Yahoo! JAPAN’s Main Policy in Response to the Report
Under the basic principle of putting users first, Yahoo! JAPAN undertakes the following to ensure transparency and fairness of transactions:
- Reinforce sincere and prompt responses to inquiries and grievances
- Disclose more information that is easily comprehensible to consumers and business partners
＜Outline of Yahoo! JAPAN’s Three Actions in Response to the Report＞
▼ Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping Operation Guidelines for Merchants (Japanese only)
- Enhancement of FAQ templates and strengthening of customer service staff training to better respond to customer inquiries and cater to customer needs:
→ The basic customer service policy for Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping and PayPay Mall, and code of conduct, etc., to be followed by customer support staff were incorporated into the newly formulated Credo, and customer support staff were trained. Furthermore, reviews were conducted on responses both toward merchants and customers. Continuous reviews and improvements will be made in the future, too.
- The addition of a clearer, supplementary explanation on the background and principles of the “order of listing recommended items” (webpage disclosed to customers and merchants on Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping and PayPay Mall):
→ Details were added to the Help page for customers explaining the “order of listing recommended items,” in September 2020.
Help page (Japanese only)
Yahoo! JAPAN will continue to commit fully to its social responsibility as a digital platform operator, by advancing a range of initiatives and making continuous improvements to achieve an even higher level of user and merchant satisfaction, in addition to ensuring high transparency and security.
■ Panel Outline
- Social responsibility of digital platform operators
- Improving transparency/fairness in online malls
- Improving transparency/fairness in app stores
2. Members and observers (names listed without honorifics)
Hiroshi Ohashi (Dean, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo)
Yoshitoshi Imoto (Partner, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu)
Yuka Kakinuma (Researcher, IT Research Group, Japan Association of Consumer Affairs Specialists)
Toshifumi Kokubun (Director, Center for Rule-making Strategies, Tama University)
Toshiya Watanabe (Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives, The University of Tokyo)
Secretariat, Headquarters for Digital Market Competition, Cabinet Secretariat
ICT Strategy Policy Division, Information and Communications Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Digital Economy Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade
■ Report Outline
1. Social responsibility of digital platform operators
- Provision of safe and secure services
- Securement of reliability by protecting interests of consumers and business partners
- Establishment of voluntary rules as business policy
- Information disclosure for improved matching quality and rate
2. Strategic formulation of business rules and their global application
3. Workable information disclosure by digital platform operators
4. Future direction
Unless otherwise specified, English-language documents are prepared solely for the convenience of non-Japanese speakers. If there is any inconsistency between the English-language documents and the Japanese-language documents, the Japanese-language documents will prevail.