by BERNAMA/ pic by BLOOMBERG
MAJOR e-commerce platforms in Malaysia, Shopee and Lazada, have come forward to assure that there is enough supply of face masks and there is no need for panic buying ahead of the mandatory use of face masks in public places come Aug 1, 2020.
Both Shopee and Lazada said that there had been a spike in demand for face masks since July 23, 2020, when the government made it compulsory to wear a face mask in crowded public places and public transport following an increase in positive COVID-19 cases and lower compliance to standard operating procedures among the public.
Speaking to Bernama, Shopee regional managing director Ian Ho said the platform saw a 65 per cent surge in demand for face masks compared to the day before the announcement was made.
There was also a 40 per cent spike in demand, week-on-week, for children’s face masks and face shields since the announcement on the reopening of schools on July 1, 2020, he said.
Likewise, Lazada Malaysia, the leading e-commerce platform in Malaysia, said via email that daily average purchases of masks and filters have jumped nearly three-fold since last week.
“If users search for the item on Shopee, they can find many sellers who are offering face masks at affordable prices. Currently, sellers on our platform are offering boxes of 50 pieces of three-ply surgical face masks below the regulated wholesale ceiling price of RM72.50 (RM1.45 x 50 pieces).
“Users can even find face masks from as low as RM10.90 during the Shocking Sale period,” Ho said.
Both Shopee and Lazada said they are working closely with manufacturers, pharmacies, distributors as well as sellers and partners to ensure convenient online access to face masks for adults and children as well as face shields in the country.
They have also prioritised the protection and safety of customers by putting in place stringent policies and measures to ensure that sellers adhere to the local product regulations and maintain reasonable prices – a policy that has been in place since the early stages of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Additionally, Ho said, to meet product accreditation from the Medical Device Authority (MDA) Malaysia in accordance with the Medical Device Act, Shopee as a platform strongly encourages sellers to sell face masks that comply with MDA requirements.
“We also have a strict listing policy (https://shopee.com.my/docs/3598) and only allow for the sale of products and services that are in accordance with Malaysian laws and of various governmental organisations including the Ministry of Health.
“Therefore, any products that do not comply with these local laws and our listing policy will be swiftly removed by our dedicated listing team that reviews and filters products to ensure compliance,” he said.
Ho said although there is no shortage of supply, Shopee is taking measures to ensure that everyone gets enough by limiting the number of boxes that can be purchased.
“As for face masks sold on Shopee Mart, we will be taking additional measures by limiting the number of boxes that can be purchased by a user to two boxes (50 pieces in a box) per order during the Shocking Sale to ensure everyone has fair access to face masks,” he said.
Lazada, on the other hand, said it would continue to assess the situation and ensure enough supply.
“We are committed to maintaining the supply of face masks and other related everyday essentials on our platform to serve the needs of Malaysians, through our vast ecosystem of brands, sellers, and partners,” it said.
The company said even when the nation faced a shortage of face masks during the MCO earlier this year, Lazada Malaysia scoured the globe and became one of the first local eCommerce marketplaces to have restocked face masks and supplied the community on a daily basis.
Lazada also encourages the public to report to the Lazada Customer Care team should they come across overpriced face masks while shopping on its platform for further investigation via this link: https://lzd.co/ReportFaceMask.