Chinese online retail behemoth Alibaba is going the extra mile to shed its image as a platform for fake goods. Under fire from regulators and brands, it has become the first e-commerce company to join an international nonprofit organization that fights piracy and counterfeiting. Joining the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) will allow Alibaba to effectively collaborate with brands to fight knockoffs.
IACC has more than 250 members
Despite the company’s efforts to crack down on fakes, Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall are flooded with counterfeit goods. Last year, the Hangzhou-based online retailer hired Matthew Bassiur, a former cyber-crime and counterfeits investigator at Apple, to oversee its anti-counterfeiting efforts. The IACC has about 250 members including Apple, Rolex, Nike, and Burberry.
Matthew Bassiur, VP and head of global IP enforcement at Alibaba, said in a statement that counterfeiting was a global, industry-wide issue. He believes effective collaboration with retailers, brands, governments, and trade associations is necessary for overall success. Regulators in the US and China continue to monitor the Hangzhou-based company’s efforts. In December, the Jack Ma-led company narrowly escaped being named in the US government’s “Notorious Markets List.”
Alibaba, IACC working together since 2013
Alibaba has been collaborating with the IACC since 2013 through the MarketSafe program to identify and remove counterfeit listings on Taobao and Tmall platforms. The program has helped the e-commerce giant permanently ban 5,000 sellers and remove more than 160,000 fake product listings. Jack Ma has in the past referred to counterfeit goods as cancer for the marketplace.
The company has more than 2,000 full-time employees fighting counterfeit goods. Last year, French luxury goods giant Kering had sued Alibaba for “encouraging and profiting from the sale of counterfeits.” Shedding its reputation as a haven for fake goods has become all the more important for the company as it looks to expand overseas. Earlier this week, Alibaba acquired Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada for $1 billion to drive growth.