Alibaba Recruiting Brands to Escalate Fight Against Fakes
Add Alibaba to the list of companies fighting counterfeiting. The e-commerce giant announced it will be establishing an "Intellectual Property Advisory Board" that includes brands and trade associations to help fight the massive volume of counterfeit goods sold on its marketplaces, according to its October public letter to Probir Mehta, assistant United States trade representative for intellectual property and innovation. The letter is in response to the trade office's decision to put Alibaba on the so-called Notorious Markets list. Last Thursday, Daniel Zhang, Alibaba group president, released an email he sent to the company's Platform Governance team addressing the USTR report characterizing the new strategy as a form of perfectionism and encouraging employees to redouble their efforts.
Total Retail's Take: Fighting counterfeit goods on marketplaces will become priority in 2017 after so many concerns in 2016. With Birkenstock pulling its products off Amazon, to complaints about TMall, 2016 has highlighted some of the down sides of selling online. However, Alibaba making the extra effort to put together a brand verification process is a step in the right direction.