Counterfeit Goods Becoming an Issue with Alibaba…Again


counterfeit goods

Counterfeit goods within the Alibaba marketplace Taobao, is not something that is unfamiliar for the huge company. It has been three years since the Taobao marketplace was placed on the “Notorious Markets” list. This list is given to the world by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and is often the number one location that consumers throughout the world are utilizing in order to determine if they should do business with a particular company or not. Alibaba was able to remove itself from the list after 2011, after being able to stop the rapid counterfeit products that they were seeing. However, now, many companies are calling for Taobao to be put back onto the list.

Counterfeit Goods via Taobao Now

An American company, the American Apparel and Footwear Association, has made the request to put Taobao back onto the list. As they have stated the number of counterfeits are still rampant on the website, even after Alibaba has been taken off the list.

The association’s president, Juanita Duggan stated:

“Our members face enormous difficult working with Taobao in solving the problem of counterfeits, meanwhile illegal merchandise continues to proliferate.”

So why is the company calling for Alibaba to be put back onto the list? According to Duggan:

“The sheer volume of counterfeits on the site as reported by our members, along with the company’s unwillingness to make serious reforms.”

The Complaints against Alibaba

Those members involved with this complaint have listed many reasons as to why they are sick of dealing with this online marketplace. These complaints include:

  • The system that Taobao utilizes for removing invalid merchandise is slow, sluggish and confusing, meaning it takes more time to remove the product from the listings
  • Alibaba is not making this easier on these companies who want to remove products
  • There seems to be no way in which Alibaba can stop these products from being listed in the first place

The members that are being represented by the American Apparel and Footwear Association include major clothing lines like American Eagle and Abercrombie and Fitch. In addition, this includes Jockey and Macy’s.

Alibaba has responded to these complaints stating that they are ready to meet with the association to discuss the issue with counterfeit goods. However, according to Alibaba, the association has refused to meet with the company for months now.

These complaints are not something that the company needs to take lightly. Alibaba is one of the leading companies when it comes to online shopping. However, if consumers fear counterfeit goods it could dampen the number of sales companies are having via this platform.

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About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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