August 11, 2015
PC World reported on Alibaba’s upgrades to its anti-counterfeiting system “amid complaints that the e-commerce company does little to fight fake goods”. The upgrade comes in the form of an English-language version of the counterfeit reporting system, which will “better allow foreign companies to file complaints, so that Alibaba can take down the infringing goods”.
The upgrade covers the Taobao and Tmall sites, which are “two of China’s largest online retail platforms” hosting products from Apple and Calvin Klein, and will give vendors “a direct line to report any counterfeit products spotted” on the sites. The company announced in December last year that it was working to remove counterfeit electronics, and reported later that month that it had spent $160.7 million (€145.7 million) on “tackling counterfeits”.
Despite this, Alibaba faced a probe in February from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over counterfeit products, and PC World noted that a Chinese regulator “issued a report” in January that claimed Alibaba sites “still offer a vast number of counterfeit goods”, urging it to “clean up its act”. The regulator even alleged “that the company may be deliberately allowing the sale of knock-off products to continue”.
Global brands, including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and the American Apparel & Footwear Association, have also filed lawsuits and sent letters to the company, “demanding [it] do a better job resolving the problems”. Alibaba has responded to the mounting criticism by noting it has “made progress cracking down on counterfeits”, with initiatives including “adding new employees to find infringing goods”. The hope is that the new system “will help it identify suspicious product listings that it’s missed”.
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