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Alibaba continues drive to eliminate online counterfeiting

Chinese eCommerce powerhouse Alibaba Group has annouced new technology to clamp down on counterfeiting and intellectual property (IP)-infringing product listings.

The online retail business has made multiple changes to its Intellectual Property Protection (IPP) Platform as it looks to give its partner brands peace of mind over IP protection.

Upgrades include a single entry point across all Alibaba eCommerce platforms and streamlined process to assess the validity of complaints, as well as a more-automated complaints-processing, analysis, and product-authentication system – powered by new algorithms and data models.

A dedicated team of professionals have been employed to reduce response time for inbound inquiries from brands, while an outreach programme has been implemented for new IPP users and companies encountering more complex IP-related issues.

The latest changes to the IPP Platform – which also include improved search engine optimisation for easier discovery of and access to the IPP platform, and multi-lingual trademark-recognition – were shared at Alibaba’s Brand Rights Holders Day last week.

“Brand trust is core to our mission,” said Alibaba’s chief platform governance officer, Jessie Zheng.

“Our enhanced platform, along with significant progress in other important initiatives all showcase the industry best practices Alibaba is creating for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

In 2016, Alibaba seized counterfeit goods worth three billion yuan – double the amount of the previous year. The steep rise was attributed to the company’s increased efforts in proactively addressing the issue of IP infringement on its platforms following years of problems related to fake items appearing online.

Alibaba said in the first month since its “express” technology was introduced, almost all cases submitted by rights holders were handled and closed within 24 hours, among which more than 80% of the listings were also taken down.

In addition to its commitment to work more closely with individual brands to keep counterfeiting in check, Alibaba is part of various groups that collaborate on IP protection.

One such organisation, the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA), sees the eCommerce giant work alongside 30 brands as part of a 24-hour anti-counterfeiting network. Members of the AACA, which was created in January 2017 and leverages big data and the latest technologies in the pursuit of uncovering fake goods online, include Louis Vuitton, Samsung, Amway and Mars.