Starting from 2016 Alibaba increases its effort to remove fakes by even hiring a former Apple counterfeits investigator.
The online bazaar where buyers from all over the world can purchase counterfeit items at a much lower price than the price of the market in their own countries is improving its battle tactics against the fake products.
The company belongs to the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma who is trying to rebuild its company reputation as a serious company and not as a heaven for unauthorized merchandise as it is known to be now.
The market value of the company has dropped by more than $50 billion after several lawsuits involving counterfeit products.
To help their efforts, Alibaba has hired Matthew Bassiur, a cybercrime and counterfeits investigator who has also worked for Apple. Starting next month, he will work with international companies to fight the infringement.
What makes it harder for the company to control the products it sells is that the goods are in the possession of sellers, the website acting as a connector between the sellers and the buyers. The company makes money from advertising.
Alibaba has already hired more than 2,000 monitors looking for fraud in the listings, which have already removed over 90 million listings from the website. The company offers an online complaint platform through which companies can report infringements.
However, the American Office of the Trade Representative issued a warning in which they said that Alibaba might end on the list of ‘Notorious Markets’ if they don’t improve their efforts. The Company will be closely monitored during the next year.
Until now, the rights holders have been unsatisfied with the company’s response time, difficulty of use and transparency. The Trade Representatives recommend the company to improve their complain registration program by simplifying the application, reduce the times for removing the listings and those of issuing penalties.
However, more than 80 percent of Alibaba’s revenue is coming from its home country, making it the biggest operator in China. But the Chinese economy is slowing down so the company needs to cultivate relationships with international markets in order to survive.
Other e-commerce websites, like EBay and Amazon had also struggled with these problems years ago. Since then, both of them managed to solve the issues by removing suspicious items proactively and by suspending the selling privileges of the unlawful sellers.
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