Alibaba’s Platform Upgrades Echo U.S. Anti-Counterfeiting Tips

alibaba picture

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s latest efforts to fight fakes fall in line with the U.S.’s recommendations for the Chinese e-commerce giant in its “Notorious Markets” list.

Alibaba announced Aug. 10 a number of upgrades to the platform that enables intellectual property holders to submit requests to remove infringing product listings.  Improvements include the creation of a single website for rightsholders to file takedown requests across Alibaba’s marketplaces, and a “more-automated” system for processing those requests, according to a press release.

In the first month since the enhancements were launched, nearly all requests were handled within 24 hours, and 83 percent of the listings in those requests were taken down, the release said.

These two upgrades appear to comply with two of the three recommendations that the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative made to Alibaba in its 2015 and 2016 annual reports highlighting markets reportedly linked to counterfeit goods. 

The USTR recommended that Alibaba: simplify processes for rightsholders to request enforcement action; make its Good Faith takedown program available to the general public; and reduce timelines for takedowns.

The USTR restored Alibaba to its Notorious Markets list last December—after it had been off for four years.  Whether the upgrades, along with Alibaba’s other various efforts to combat counterfeits, are enough to avoid a mention on the USTR’s 2017 list remains to be seen.

An Alibaba spokeswoman declined to comment.