Alibaba To Take Legal Action Against Counterfeit Goods

Swarovski Incrusted Magenta Pendants
An expert selects and analyzes a set of magenta Swarovski incrusted pendants. ©robertprzybysz

Alibaba has decided to move against piracy by suing sellers of Fake Swarovski Watches present across the platform.

It is China’s e-commerce giant’s first legal action taken to combat fake merchandise and counterfeit goods sold across its platform. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. sued two vendors it said used the company’s Taobao website to sell counterfeit Swarovski watches, this is just after U.S. regulators (USTR) in December had placed Alibaba on a blacklist for fakes.

Taobao, which operates like eBay and Amazon, is among the top 15 most popular websites on the internet, and among the top five in China.

“We will bring the full force of the law to bear on these counterfeiters so as to deter others from engaging in this crime wherever they are,” said Zheng Junfang, chief platform governance officer of Alibaba Group in a statement.

The company is actively updating it list of counterfeiters against whom it will take similar actions.

“We take a holistic and technology-driven approach to IPR-enforcement,” said Matthew Bassiur, Alibaba’s head of global intellectual property enforcement. “Big data analytics enhance our ability to identify and pursue counterfeiters.”

Alibaba used its this internal process to detect a Taobao merchant suspected of selling counterfeit goods and provided the information to local District police, who raided the seller on Aug. 10 and confiscated more than 125 counterfeit Swarovski watches. Another fake Swarovski seller on Taobao was found during the raid.

Despite these complications and the companies disappointment in being blacklisted by the United States Trade Representative Michael Froman, the stock has gained 15 percent in the past year. “We want to mete out to counterfeiters the punishment they deserve in order to protect brand owners,” Zheng Junfang, continued to say. With investors on board, it seems like Alibaba’s new years resolution is to win back the trust of brands and trade groups by continuing its fight against counterfeiters.