Alibaba has reportedly assisted the Chinese authorities in seizing a large haul of counterfeit skincare cosmetics valued at over £2 million. After Alibaba provided data to the authorities, police raided a warehouse in the Jiangsu province of China and seized thousands of fake products.
Alibaba Group's news website Alizila reported that four people were arrested in the warehouse raid and that others were being pursued.
Counterfeiting can take various forms. It may involve counterfeit products re-packaged in original packaging, or packaged in fake imitation packaging. Alibaba has assisted authorities in taking action against counterfeiters reportedly passing off their products as those of leadings brands such as Calvin Klein and Jo Malone.
Alibaba has had mixed press in recent years. It is widely known that counterfeiters have used the online platform to distribute imitation products, infringing the intellectual property rights of others, on a large scale. Additionally, despite Alibaba seeking to convince brands globally that it takes rigorous action against counterfeiters, several brands, including the group with control of the Gucci brand, have taken legal action against Alibaba in recent years. Further, in 2016 Alibaba was re-listed as a top US counterfeit concern, with the United States Trade Representative office citing its online retail platform Taobao as a relevant factor in its decision.
This latest development will likely be seen as a step in the right direction for Alibaba as it seeks to re-enforce trust in its relationships with global brands and governments alike.
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