eCommerce giant Alibaba is building an alliance to fight counterfeit merchandise. The company, along with Amway, Canon, Ford and others, is forming a group which will seek legal action against those who attempt to sell counterfeit products. The group is called the Alibaba Big Data Anticounterfeiting Alliance.
Alibaba is China’s largest eCommerce retailer. However, it’s had a less than perfect past. Alibaba is notorious for hosting counterfeit merchandise on its sales sites This activity even prompted a lawsuit by Kering, the parent company of Gucci brand. The company hopes to restore its reputation through these alliances with luxury product distributors.
Alibaba states that the alliance will be formed by 20 founding members, though the company has declined to publish a list. The group has gained the support of several Chinese law enforcement agencies and governmental departments.
Alibaba’s chief platform governance officer issued a statement regarding the newly formed alliance. In his statement, he expressed confidence in the power of data and analytics to combat counterfeit. He stated, “With our robust data capabilities, we are confident the alliance will accelerate the digital transformation in our global fight against counterfeits.”
The company intends to use this data to track users of illegal IP credentials, allowing the alliance to provide leads to appropriate law enforcement agencies. Those agencies, in turn, will seek to prosecute the IP pirates. Alibaba will provide the data and technological support, in exchange for anticounterfeiting information from the partner companies.
Independently, Alibaba is currently seeking legal action against counterfeiters selling fake Swarovski products. At least 125 fake Swarovski watches were purchased in a recent operation to target pirates.
The Alibaba Big Data Anticounterfeiting Alliance was announced a week after President Donald Trump met with Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma. Trump also met with Bernard Arnault of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton on that same day.