he International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition recently suspended Alibaba’s membership, once again throwing the Chinese ecommerce giant’s business practices into the global spotlight.
Alibaba has continuously claimed it has been working to combat counterfeiting, establishing a 2,000-person taskforce to root out fake goods being sold through the company’s platform. Cracking down on counterfeiting in China is a thankless task, with the manufacture, sale and purchase of fake products remaining stubbornly ubiquitous despite government pledges to do more to protect intellectual property (IP). Specific laws on counterfeiting have yet to appear, and with only light punishments meted out to major offenders, any attempts to combat the problem, including Alibaba’s, are generally perceived as token. IP experts warned that it is too difficult for Alibaba to go it alone in combating counterfeiters, unless the marketplace, the legal field and China’s regulatory environment are improved by genuine and enduring commitments from governmental and industrial associations.