In October of last year, Alibaba had tipped off Chinese law enforcement authorities regarding the potentially illegal activities of a suspected counterfeiting ring. During a subsequent raid action in a warehouse in Nanjing, the suspicions were now confirmed with Chinese authorities confiscating around 4,000 counterfeits worth about 2.6 million euros.
The success was facilitated by Alibaba’s use of big data technologies, as the company revealed at the end of April. For its use of big data against piracy, Alibaba collects and evaluates information about suspicious offers and transactions on its sale platforms in order to uncover potential criminal structures and report these to the authorities. Within the scope of its Big Data Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (we reported), the ecommerce giant brings together the necessary industry know-how and technical knowledge; members of the alliance include well-known brands such as Louis Vuitton, Mars and Samsung.
The counterfeiters that were now identified in the Chinese city of Nanjing had produced illegal imitations of high-priced cosmetics, from such brands as CK, Jo Malone, La Mer and SK-II. The counterfeits were produced under unsanitary conditions and sold in counterfeit or refilled original packaging. Four suspects were arrested.
The seizure in Nanjing is not only an important success for the affected original manufacturers, but also for Alibaba: The company has already been criticised several times for the trade of counterfeits on its sales platforms and was sued for damages by well-known brand manufacturers (we reported).