Alibaba tackles counterfeit goods on websites

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BEIJING.— Taobao, a website of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is displayed on an Apple Inc. MacBook Air laptop, left, and iPhone 5c smartphone in an arranged photograph in Hong Kong, China, on March 21 2014.

Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce company, said this month it will sell shares in the US in what may be the largest-ever Chinese technology initial public offering.

China’s ecommerce giant Alibaba has spent $160 million since the start of 2013 eradicating counterfeit products from its sales websites, the company announced last Tuesday, in an attempt to strengthen its credentials at fighting fakes.

The company said it employs a 2 000-strong task force and 5 400 “volunteers” who police its sites for suspicious items such as $16 Calvin Klein clutches, $90 Tiffany rings or $8 Cath Kidston backpacks.

In the third quarter of this year, Alibaba’s retail websites transacted $90 billion in merchandise — just under $1 billion per day. The company typically ships more than 16m packages every day.

Alibaba, whose $25 billion New York listing made it the second-largest internet company in the world behind Google, continues to face scrutiny for the prevalence of counterfeit goods on its websites, mainly Taobao, the eBay-like third party sales website that handles most of its business.

The company last week launched a publicity blitz aimed at countering the lingering perception that it is not doing enough to tackle the problem, which could deter investors and invite lawsuits. — Reuters.

 

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