Thursday, June 20, 2024

Indonesian e-commerce platforms employ AI to battle thrift invasions

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Novi Nurmalasari


Mahinda Arkyasa



The Indonesian E-commerce Association (idEA) has announced that its members such as Shopee, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Lazada, Blibli, Meta, and TikTok will be using artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and ban users that sell imported used clothes.

This information was conveyed by the idEA’s Head of Consumer Protection and Medical Innovation, Even Alex Chandra on Thursday (6/4). 

According to the idEA, around 40,000 sales links for imported used clothes were taken down by members of the e-association. The decision was made following a coordination meeting with relevant ministries and institutions, as well as representatives from various online stores regarding sales of imported used clothing.

Nonetheless, it has been observed that certain thrift sellers are trying to trick the system by avoiding the use of keywords such as ‘used clothing’, ‘thrifting’, or related terms on their product pages.

For example, before there was a lot of news about the ban on used clothes, sellers used the keyword ‘bal’. But after the news went viral, sellers allegedly changed the keyword to ‘sack’. They also changed from using the word ‘used’ to ‘preloved’.

With the help of AI technology, the system will automatically take down products that violate regulations. The sellers, Even said, will receive a maximum of three warnings. Users who continue to ignore the warning will have their registered identities including NIK, telephone number, and other personal details blacklisted on the platform.

E-commerce intensify efforts to ban thrifting

During a discussion on Thursday (16/3), the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises or SMES Ministry demanded e-commerce platforms to take down merchants listing imported used clothes.

In response, the Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Tokopedia, Muhammad Hilmi Adrianto, stated that Tokopedia continues to support and comply with the government regulations regarding imported used clothes, as reported by

Pursuant to section J rule number 6 of Tokopedia’s terms of use, the platform already prohibits the sale of thrift items that violate the laws. As Hilmi explained, Tokopedia has a Seller Education Center to disseminate information concerning the selling of second-hand clothing on Tokopedia.

Meanwhile, a representative of TikTok Indonesia stated that the company has a policy of banning thrift items on TikTok Shop, and any products that violate this policy will be removed immediately.  

Similarly, a spokesperson for Lazada Indonesia also stated that the company will always comply with laws and regulations in Indonesia, as reported by Moreover, Lazada provides a wide selection of local Indonesian SME products and brands for its citizens. 

Novi Nurmalasari


Mahinda Arkyasa




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