Alibaba is working hard to build its reputation. The Chinese e-commerce giant reported that it handled more than 1,000 intellectual property violation cases in the first nine months of this year. These cases involved 600 million yuan ($97 million) worth of goods. What’s more, Alibaba cooperated with law enforcement and removed over six million links to Web pages selling fake products on its platforms.
Alibaba aims to enhance consumer protection
Alibaba’s chief risk officer Shao Xiaofeng said yesterday that the company had spent more than $160 million from early 2013 to September 2014 to remove counterfeit products from its platforms and enhance consumer protection. Fake products selling online are a big problem in China. Besides Alibaba, online retailers such as JD.com and Yhd.com have also been trying to tackle the issue.
Counterfeit goods on e-commerce platforms make consumers suspicious of products they see online. It hurts the business as well as reputation of online retailers. Removing such products has become even more important for Chinese companies as they are locked in a race to attract elite Western brands. Alibaba claims that it has been addressing the issue since 2002. According to Chinese website Caixin, Alibaba set up a special department last year to handle the issue.
Alibaba has 5,400 volunteers
In the run up to its New York IPO, Alibaba had pledged to take strict action against millions of listings that might have problems related to intellectual property rights. The Hangzhou-based company has a team of 5,400 volunteers who purchase products on its platforms to check if sellers are offering authentic goods. In the past, the online retailer has faced scrutiny for selling counterfeit products.
Elite international brands have repeatedly expressed concerns that unauthorized sellers on Chinese e-commerce platforms could damage their brands’ reputation. But Alibaba has successfully convinced many of them, including Burberry and L’Occitane to open shops on its Tmall platform.
Alibaba shares gained 0.83% to $106.39 at 10:26 AM EST on Wednesday.