Alibaba Steps Up Efforts to Fight Fake Goods

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is continuing to boost its efforts to combat counterfeiting after being put back on the U.S.’s “notorious markets” blacklist.

Alibaba has launched an alliance with about 20 global brands, including Samsung and Louis Vuitton, to use big data and anti-counterfeiting technology to keep pirated goods off its platforms, the company announced Jan. 16 on its website. 

The announcement comes two weeks after Alibaba sued two sellers in China for allegedly using its platform to sell counterfeit Swarovski watches.  The U.S. Office of the Trade Representative restored Alibaba to its annual Notorious Markets list on Dec. 21, after it had been off of it for four years.

Alibaba spokeswoman Sharon Chan told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 18 that the company was “disappointed” that it was put back on the list. “We have done a lot more in the last 12 months to combat counterfeiting than we have done before,” Chan said.  She said one of Alibaba’s goals for this year is to be more transparent and communicate more to let people know what it’s doing.

The company said on its website that last year it helped Chinese law enforcement seize counterfeit goods valued at RMB 1.43 billion ($207.2 million) in a joint operation to crack down on counterfeit goods.  Alibaba said it had used algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify the counterfeiters.   

Alibaba said its anti-counterfeiting technologies scan up to 10 million product listings per day, and that the company had removed more than 380 million listings from August 2015 to August 2016.

Chan said that this year Alibaba will continue to work closely with law enforcement and file more lawsuits, among other efforts that will focus on technology and collaboration.