Alibaba.com, the biggest B2B e-commerce platform for importing from China has vowed to fight against the sale of fake goods on its platforms including its Taobao online marketplace, which is compared to Amazon’s marketplace.
Why is Alibaba Cracking Down on Counterfeit Goods?
Alibaba Group is reportedly making plans to launch an IPO (Initial Public Offering), presumably on the Hong Kong stock exchange this year, and intellectual property abuse will likely turn off potential investors. In fact it is a common request we receive from Australian import export businesses, to verify a supplier selling globally recognised branded product. It has been a long standing issue with global brands that counterfeit and grey market versions of their product are openly sold on B2B supplier directory websites.
What will Alibaba do to Prevent Counterfeit and Fake Goods?
- Alibaba will create an IP (Intellectual Property) task force that will work with Chinese government ministries, and report supplier members and products that infringe on intellectual property rights. The task force will help authorities to track the original manufacturer of the goods, presumably where trading companies and agents are selling the goods.
- Already $27 Million worth of merchandise has been taken down from Alibaba’s shopping sites last year after it provided information to law enforcement units about counterfeit products involving 72 brands
- Taobao is no longer included in the recent list of world’s most “notorious markets” for sales of counterfeit goods. The United States removed it from the list, citing the “notable efforts” Tabao made to eradicate fake goods on its shopping sites.
What Alibaba has said
In a review of Alibaba efforts to tackle IP protection, the company’s new incoming CEO has outlined it as a major issue for the group, noting if the fight against fake goods is not done well, it will be something he regrets.
Analysis of Alibaba and Protecting Brands
As the Alibaba group makes inroads as a major technology platform globally, it will be forced to comply with global corporate standards, not just for IP, but also reporting and corporate transparency.
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