Alibaba Group has spent RMB1 billion ($160.7 million) in the year ended Nov. 30 fighting counterfeit goods and enhancing consumer protection online, the company's CEO said Tuesday.
Alibaba Group CEO Jonathan Lu said the company has assigned a task force of over 2,000 to spearhead the anti-counterfeiting effort and plans to add another 200 people next year. The Group has also enlisted around 5,400 volunteers to assist with daily online surveillance and selective inspection.
During the period, Alibaba:
- Collaborated with Chinese law enforcement authorities in more than 1,000 counterfeiting cases to eliminate counterfeit goods at their source, offline. As a result of this collaboration, 400 suspects from 18 counterfeiting rings were arrested while 200 brick and mortar stores, factories or warehouse involved in production and selling of counterfeits were closed. Lu said Alibaba's Taobao Marketplace has worked with Zhejiang Intellectual Property Office in 3,000 IPR- infringing cases since 2010.
- Cooperated with 1,137 brand owners to identify and remove IP-infringing goods from its marketplaces.
- Passed information and leads gathered online to the Shanghai police and the Shanghai Public Security Bureau of Economic Crime Investigation Corps that led to the investigation of 41 counterfeiting cases and the arrest of 103 suspects involved in counterfeiting brands such as Nike, Jordan, 3M, UGG, Prada, Chanel, etc.
- Worked with the Fujian Provincial Public Security Bureau to gather clues and crack down on over 200 online stores selling counterfeit shoes and luxury goods. Brands involved include Nike, Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, etc. A total of 89 suspects were arrested and RMB 45 million ($7.2 million) worth of counterfeit goods were seized.
- Used transaction data and mapping technology Alibaba Group found that more than 60 percent of counterfeit watches and jewelry originate from Southern China, while 60 percent of counterfeit outdoor sporting goods are from Southeast China region and 50 percent of counterfeit apparel originates from Eastern China.
- Widened the coalition of international associations it works with to protect IPR by signing MOUs with major international associations to protect IP rights. These include the Korean Intellectual Property Protection Association, China-Britain Business Council and Business Software Alliance.
- Formed an “Intellectual Property Protection Working Group” in conjunction with China’s Public Security Bureau, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, China’s State Intellectual Property Office and State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. Lu will be the Working Group’s Chairman.
A full copy of Alibaba CEO Jonathan Lu's Dec. 23 speech in Hangzhou, China is available on the company's website.