E-commerce giant Alibaba strengthens anti-piracy measures

In the face of repeated allegations of counterfeit sales, the internet giant Alibaba is now further enhancing its anti-piracy measures, hoping to significantly reduce the trade in counterfeits on its online sales platforms.

Alibaba has been repeatedly sued by Western companies such as Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci for the circulation of counterfeits on its online sales platforms (see our German-language report). Now the internet giant has begun a new anti-piracy offensive. Among other measures, it includes the use of big data technologies, which are meant to oversee more than a billion product offerings on Alibaba’s popular online sales platforms Taobao and Tmall.

In December, Alibaba has also founded a so-called Platform Governance Unit, which took over the commercial regulation of its sales platforms. And in order to further advance its anti-piracy measures, Alibaba brought well-known reinforcement on board in the person of Matthew Bassier, who was previously responsible for IP and brand protection at Pfizer and Apple.

For Alibaba’s Executive Chairman Jack Ma, however, getting rid of illegal offerings on Taobao and Tmall is not enough. Ma wants to destroy the counterfeiters‘ basis for action completely. To this end, Alibaba works together with Chinese authorities to take direct measures against counterfeiters, the company announced.

Between April and September 2015, for example, Alibaba claims to have supported local law enforcement authorities with launching some 330 investigations into alleged counterfeiters, 280 of which are said to have been successfully completed. Alibaba also stated that it has supported Chinese police authorities as they closed more than 600 counterfeit production facilities and arrested over 700 suspects.

“This way we can have a positive effect on society,” explained Ma in a presentation for Alibaba employees in the Hangzhou company headquarters. “Our final victory only comes when the counterfeit sellers have nowhere to go and no room to exist.” Accordingly, Alibaba says it has already more than 2,000 full-time workers who take measures against counterfeits on Taoboa and Tmall. The internet giant has also invested more than 1 billion yuan (approx. USD $145 million) in the fight against counterfeits in the past two years alone, and says that it will not set any limits on the investments this year either.

Sources: Alizila, Yibada

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