The logo of the web service Amazon is pictured in this June 8, 2017 illustration photo.
The report said negative ratings were deleted and confidential sales information were provided for payments between $80 and $2,000, brokers for Amazon employees in the Chinese city of Shenzhen said.
The practice, which is especially common in China, has reportedly launched an internal investigation within the company.
This comes according to both merchants who bought said information, and brokers who sold it, both of whom talked to the publisher, along with "people familiar with internal investigations". The Journal claimed that middlemen working on behalf of sellers in the country have been using Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat to get in contact with Amazon employees. As per a company spokesperson, Amazon is considering various options regarding the incident: "terminating their selling accounts", "withholding funds", "deleting reviews", and "taking legal action".
It said Amazon was also investigating incidents in the United States where employees were suspected of accepting bribes.
Such sellers need to compete with Amazon's own products to get noticed and compete directly with the online giant to get their items higher on search results pages. "We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our Code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties".
In 2015, Amazon sued more than 1,000 "John Doe" account holders for allegedly writing fake reviews for profit.
These reviews may not be legitimate and without honest feedback, Amazon users may end up purchasing products which do not meet expectations or match seller descriptions.
Companies have raised their voices against Amazon, saying the retail giant should do more to prevent the sale of counterfeit products on its platform.