Alibaba Responds to Counterfeit Accusations
Alibaba has responded to accusations of not fully combating the sale of counterfeit goods on the Taobao platform. An Alibaba spokesperson told Footwear News that the site has been working with the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) since 2012 to cooperate with the group to address the sale of counterfeit merchandise on the Web.
Previously, AAFA president and CEO Juanita Duggan filed a complaint with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White over the ongoing sale of counterfeit items.
"Alibaba's Taobao platform is notorious as one of the biggest platforms for counterfeit goods worldwide," Duggan said. "Our members encounter innumerable counterfeits on Taobao every day, which result in millions of dollars of lost sales, damage to reputation, legal costs, and exhaustion of internal resources.
Last year around this time, Alibaba filed for initial public offering in the U.S., it aimed to stop the sale of counterfeit items by removing product listings that have been found to violate copyrights.
In an email to Footwear News, the Alibaba spokesperson laid out the measures that the company uses to stop counterfeit and pirated goods from being sold—including use of data-mining technology to track transactions of items that violate intellectual property rights, working with various Chinese agencies to fight online counterfeiting and random checks by using third parties to buy suspected contraband on its marketplace.
The AAFA urged U.S. Trade Representative to deliver a stern warning to Alibaba that if things don't change, the online marketplace would end up on the United States Trade Representative 2015 Special 301 Notorious Markets List, which it was removed from in 2012.