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Alibaba Strengthens its Efforts to Counter Fake Products

Two years back, Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA Chairman Jack Ma had called counterfeit goods a cancer and promised to clean up the company’s image as a platform of fake goods. With the company’s latest efforts to crack down on fakes, it appears that Ma is trying hard to keep his promise.

Alibaba on Wednesday announced its official membership in the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), the world’s largest non-profit organization that combats product counterfeiting and piracy.

With this announcement, the company became the first e-commerce organization to join the 250 member IACC that includes big names such as Apple Inc. AAPL, NIKE, Inc. NKE, Burberry Group  and Rolex.

Vice President and Head of Global IP Enforcement at Alibaba Group Matthew Bassiur commented, “Preserving the integrity of Alibaba’s marketplaces is a top priority. Counterfeiting is a global, industry-wide issue, and effective collaboration with brands, retailers, trade associations, governments and other industry partners is a key component to our overall success.”

IACC President Bob Barchiesi stated, "We are thrilled to welcome Alibaba Group as the first e-commerce company to join the IACC and take advantage of our new General Member category. With the pace at which the market is moving, the successful e-commerce platforms will be those who build the right strategic partnerships to ensure safe and trusted marketplaces. We encourage more industry players to join in our efforts.”

Alibaba’s partnership with IACC started back in 2013 with the market safe program aimed at cleaning counterfeit listings off Tmall and Taobao platforms. Since then, the company has permanently banned 5000 sellers and removed more than 160000 fake product listings.

To further strengthen its efforts, the company hired former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL cybercrime and counterfeits investigator Matthew Bassiur as head of its Global IP Enforcement.

The company has partnered with 580 global brands and trade associations, and invested S$154 million in fighting the issue. It has more than 2,000 full time employees fighting fakes.

We like many other analysts are expecting that the new partnership will take Alibaba an extra mile in eradicating the counterfeit issue.

At present, Alibaba carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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