Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has often been criticized for selling poor-quality and counterfeit goods. Though the company has taken a series of steps to curb the sales of fake goods on its platforms, brands and regulators have urged it to do more. The online retailer has now teamed up with four third-party inspection agencies to make sure that products sold on its Taobao site are of high quality.
Alibaba to invest billions of yuan
According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the move will help Alibaba cater to consumers’ rising demand for high-quality products while helping local manufacturers improve their quality. Roping in high-quality manufacturers will help the company shed its image as a platform for counterfeit goods. Swiss inspection & certification agency SGS, German inspection agency TUV, French agency Bureau Veritas, and China Certification and Inspection Group will work with Alibaba to introduce stricter inspection services to manufacturers.
The Hangzhou-based company said it would invest billions of yuan to bring more than 10,000 quality manufacturers to set up shops on Taobao. Alibaba has set a sales target of 100 billion yuan ($15.61 billion) for high-quality goods. There are many Chinese manufacturers that make products for foreign brands. But China itself is known for poor quality, copycat, and fake goods.
Alibaba’s attempt to overhaul its image
Poor quality of Chinese products is the primary reason consumers have turned to Western brands. Analysts said the e-commerce giant’s move to work with manufacturers will not only give them an opportunity to build a brand in the domestic market, but will also boost the Jack Ma-led company’s image as a high-quality marketplace for domestic and international shoppers. Alibaba president Jin Jianhang said Taobao’s growth has slowed due to the difficulty in removing counterfeit and poor-quality goods from the site.
So far, Taobao has attracted more than 4,500 manufacturers with average daily sales of $6.24 million. Earlier this year, French luxury goods maker sued Alibaba, accusing the Chinese company of encouraging the sales of counterfeit goods.