Alibaba’s Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance has reported the seizure of pirated goods worth half a billion euros for 2018. However, it supported significantly fewer operations than in the previous year – and the Chinese online retail giant continues to face criticism.
Author: Elena Bose, International Communications Manager at tesa scribos
The Chinese e-commerce giant is now reporting new successes in the fight against counterfeiting on its online platforms: Alibaba’s Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA) has reportedly confiscated counterfeits with a combined value of approximately half a billion euros (536.2 million US dollars) in the last year. According to Alibaba, over 500 production and distribution sites have also been shut down for alleged counterfeiting and more than 1,200 suspects arrested on the initiative of the AACA. This represents a significant drop compared with the previous year: According to their own figures, in 2017 Alibaba still helped raid around 1,330 illegal production facilities and facilitated roughly 1,600 arrests.
Alibaba is feeling confident: “The AACA is now the benchmark and model for brand protection in China and around the world,” explains Alibaba’s Senior Vice President Michael Yao, going on to say that cooperation within the industry is the only way to combat the trade in counterfeits.
Despite the efforts of the AACA, as recently as early April Alibaba was once again at the centre of a public row: US President Donald Trump signed a memo aimed at the counterfeiting trade, which according to White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro should be taken as an official warning shot for online marketplaces Alibaba, Amazon and eBay. He said the platforms had a duty to do more to combat counterfeiting: “It is your job to police these matters, and if you won't clean it up the government will.”
Last year, Alibaba once again refused to accept its place on the Notorious Markets List of the US Trade Representative (USTR). The office of the USTR had criticised serious shortcomings in the implementation of protection measures, among other things. Amazon had also already been nominated for the anti-prize.
According to Alibaba, the AACA combines industry expertise of participating manufacturers with technical know-how to combat counterfeiting on Alibaba's online marketplaces. The AACA assembled a total of 132 members from various industries, including well-known manufacturers such as technology companies 3M and Siemens and pharma firms Bayer and Pfizer. Automotive companies such as Ford and Volkswagen, sports and fashion producers such as Adidas and Louis Vuitton, as well as numerous manufacturers in the cosmetics, food and IT industries are also part of the alliance.
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