Alibaba Joins Industry Anti-Counterfeiting Group, Gets Suspended

Image courtesy of Hammerin Man

The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition is exactly what it sounds like: a coalition of frequently-counterfeited brands, law firms, investigators, and marketplaces working together to root out counterfeit goods. However, big brand names like Tiffany and Gucci America quit the coalition in protest after the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba was allowed to join. The brands were concerned that the IACC had allowed in the exact kind of company they were fighting.

An attorney for Michael Kors sent the IACC a letter reflecting that company’s opinion of Alibaba, writing that allowing it to join gave “cover to our most dangerous and damaging adversary.”

Alibaba is sort of a combination of Amazon and eBay in China, and operates wholesale and consumer e-commerce sites. Taobao is their best-known site in China, and the company started but later sold the U.S. site 11Main. Designer brands are concerned that the company isn’t doing enough to eliminate counterfeit goods on its sites.

A quick search of Aliexpress, a consumer-facing marketplace for customers all over the world, turned up no examples for Gucci or Michael Kors, but plenty of pieces of sterling silver “Tiffany” jewelry for less than a tenth of the normal price.


“Alibaba will discuss and communicate more thoroughly with more brands in order to push forward the course of international anti-counterfeiting,” the company said in a statement.

Alibaba vows to keep fighting fakes despite IACC snub [CNBC] (Warning: auto-play video at that link)
Alibaba presses on in crackdown on fake goods after suspension from anti-counterfeiting group [South China Morning Post]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.