Alibaba Hires Former Apple Investigator to Fight Counterfeits
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. hired an investigator to rid the Chinese e-commerce business of counterfeit goods. According to Bloomberg, the investigator, Matthew Bassiur, previously helped Apple Inc. find fake iPhones and investigate copyright infringement.
Bassiur formerly was a vice president for Pfizer Inc. and computer crimes prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice. As the head of global intellectual property enforcement for Alibaba Bassiur will oversee intellectual property protection and work with other global brands to fight copyright infringement.
Alibaba had a tough year. The company lost $50 billion in U.S. listed shares, as lawsuits and criticism mounted from Chinese and U.S. regulators that the e-commerce platform was swarmed with knock-offs.
Last week, the company told Bloomberg that it "is committed to the protection of intellectual property rights and the fight against counterfeiting. Counterfeiting is an issue all global e-commerce companies face, and we are doing all we can to address and fight it."
Alibaba needs to do better in 2016, as the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) warned it would end up on the "Notorious Markets" blacklist if it didn't. The USTR issued a statement that indicated that Alibaba's efforts to protect intellectual property and fight piracy will be monitored in 2016.
"We will continue to be relentless in our long-term commitment to protect both consumers and intellectual property rights owners," Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, told Bloomberg in a statement.