After joining the International Anticounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) earlier this week, Alibaba has experienced large amounts of criticism.
Designer brands including Michael Kors, Gucci and Tiffany have resigned from the organisation in protest of Alibaba’s recent memebership. Many of these brands, among others, have previously taken legal action against Alibaba’s counterfeit products. Kering, owner of Gucci, is currently legally battling Alibaba for “assisting counterfeiters”.
Michael Kors noted that membership gives “cover to our most dangerous and damaging adversary”.
Alibaba is working to refute these claims and has joined the IACC MarketSafe scheme which uses data to locate the source of these issues.
Alibaba’s Group Director and President Michael Evans noted that partnering with the IACC is essential in order to lessen counterfeit products and also blamed IP lawyers for creating negative press on the retail giant’s latest move.
“We are part of the solution, and we will continue to cooperate with brands and industry associations, rather than resorting to unproductive tactics. Those who have a financial interest in IP litigation would rather pit the brands against Alibaba, using public relations tactics that are not in the interest of anyone except themselves.
"We must focus on what we can do collaboratively as an industry, leveraging our combined experiences, expertise, and resources. Global problems demand global solutions,” he said.
According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the counterfeiting industry currently makes up 2.5% or $461bn of global trade.