Alibaba’s anti-piracy alliance reportedly has around 20 members already, including widely-known brands such as Louis Vuitton, Mars, and Samsung. The goal of the “Alibaba Big Data Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance” is to concentrate industry knowledge and take targeted measures against the sale of counterfeits on Alibaba’s trade platforms.
“The most powerful weapon against counterfeiting today is data and analytics, and the only way we can win this war is to unite. We are confident the alliance will accelerate the digital transformation in our global fight against counterfeits.” said Jessie Zheng, Chief Platform Governance Officer at Alibaba.
According to information provided by the internet giant, Alibaba’s anti-counterfeiting technologies can review up to 10 million product listings a day. Between May and July 2016 alone, big data, artificial intelligence, and specialised algorithms have already contributed to uncovering more than 400 counterfeiting organisations. As a result, more than 330 suspects have reportedly been arrested and counterfeits valued at 1.4 trillion yuan (ca. 195 million euro) been confiscated.
In addition to using modern technologies, Alibaba also takes legal measures against counterfeiters. In early January, for example, the corporation filed suits against two sellers who allegedly sold counterfeits on their platforms. “The sale of counterfeit products is not only a violation of our trade agreements, but also represents a violation of the rights of brand owners,” said Zheng. “Our customers receive deliveries of inferior goods. This undermines the consumer’s trust in our trade platform.”
Alibaba has repeatedly come under criticism for counterfeits on its trading platform in the recent past. The e-commerce giant was for example sued multiple times by brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci (cf. our German-language report), and was excluded from the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition because of ongoing accusations of product counterfeiting.
Alibaba’s competitor Amazon reacted late last year and tightened the selling conditions on its Marketplace to combat counterfeits.