Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has signed a cooperation agreement with Microsoft to jointly crack down on counterfeit software sold on Tmall and Taobao platforms. The anti-counterfeit measures are aimed at protecting Microsoft’s intellectual property rights (IPR). Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall are the largest e-commerce sites in China, accounting for more than 80% of the country’s online sales.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Microsoft Ink Deal To Crack Down On Fake Software

Microsoft, Alibaba to educate customers

The Hangzhou-based company will block or delete Web pages that sell counterfeit or unauthorized Microsoft products upon notification by Microsoft. The U.S. software giant already has its official online store on Tmall, selling authorized software products. Alibaba and its affiliates, including Alipay, will help consumers facilitate the compensation process if they mistakenly buy unauthorized software products.

The two companies will also work to educate customers and raise awareness about unlicensed and counterfeit software. Microsoft’s associate general counsel Tim Cranton said that pirated software pose a severe threat to consumers’ privacy, information security, and personal data. The awareness program will be executed through different channels, including Taobao, Tmall and Alipay.

Alibaba steps up effort to remove fake goods

Cranton said the deal will help build a safer online environment and promote information security for consumers and businesses. Non-genuine software expose users to malware, spyware, and viruses that can cause network system failures, computer crashes and loss of personal data. Cranton said legitimate businesses and innovators will also benefit from a safer e-commerce marketplace.

Cooperation between the two companies dates back to 2007 when Microsoft signed a deal with AliSoftware to provide information services to small and mid-sized businesses, reports ZDNet. Since last year, Alibaba has stepped up efforts to remove fake goods from its platforms. In the runup to its New York IPO, the online retailer spent well over $160 million to remove more than 90 million fake goods from Tmall and Taobao. Alibaba has also penalized over 130,000 sellers who were caught selling counterfeit products.

Alibaba shares surged 2.84% on Thursday to close at $105.03.