Alibaba’s Fight against Counterfeit Products
In the past, we’ve talked at length about how you should be very cautious when ordering food and medicine online. After all, most medications you can buy online are counterfeit in some way, and food ordered online caused several deaths and many more illnesses. Alibaba is one of the online marketplaces notorious for having vendors that sell fake goods. However, they’ve started to buckle down and take a more proactive role in removing fake goods from their website.
For those who don’t know, Alibaba is an online marketplace, where people and companies can buy and sell goods at whatever price they wish to charge. They have many divisions, however, with retail, internet, artificial intelligence, and technology groups under its umbrella. There are even other sites that are owned by or affiliated with Alibaba, such as Taobao, an online marketplace site in China. It is currently one of the top ten largest and most valuable companies in the world, being worth more than half a trillion USD.
Seeing as how people and companies can list anything for any price, some will take advantage and list counterfeit goods, especially if they have the production facilities. Early last year, however, Alibaba started to crack down on fake products being sold on their website. This all culminated in a landmark lawsuit, where Alibaba sued a vendor for selling fake cat food on its Taobao site. A person named Yao was selling fake cat food with the Royal Canin label on Taobao. Agents from the site purchased this food after some complaints and found that it did not contain food from the Mars, Inc. manufacturing company. This fake food was put into real bags that had been tampered with and sold for a heavily discounted price.
The victory in court has been lauded as a step in the right direction for Alibaba, which had been drafting and enforcing new rules against counterfeit products on their platform. They’ve brought up charges against other users, such as vendors that were selling fake Swarovski watches and Wuliangye liquor.
Lawsuits are just the final step in the process, however. The fight against counterfeit goods on Alibaba starts with a reporting system that is monitored more closely by people within the corporation. If the complaints seem legitimate, the company then purchases a sample of the product from the vendor for inspection. It works with partnered companies to tell whether or not the goods are real. From there the vendors are banned, and if they’ve flaunted the rules and the law beyond a certain point, Alibaba files a suit against the offenders.
Alibaba also introduced a new intellectual property protection system to help determine which vendors are selling real goods and which are selling fakes. Over 100,000 brands do business across the various Alibaba platforms, and the company has renewed its dedication to ensure their rights are upheld in the marketplace. Slice.com and Jewelry.com are two American companies that have expressed their satisfaction with these new protocols. They’re stressing that rights-holders need to file complaints whenever these problems crop up because the algorithms being developed to detect fake listings can only be improved through human input.
Alibaba is working very closely with companies and corporations to ensure that the ever-increasing plague of counterfeit goods is stemmed from their marketplace. They’re developing new solutions to age-old problems, and calling in all the help they can get to do it. Alibaba’s renewed dedication to ensuring the security of their link in the supply chain is admirable, and proof that even the largest of corporations can work hard to make things right, even when they’ve failed in the past.