Alibaba sues sellers of counterfeit goods after it was blacklisted by the US

Posted on: Jan 05, 2017 @ 05:09 am
Publish Date: Jan 05, 2017 @ 05:09 am
Category: News

Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) is taking the fight to sellers of counterfeit goods and, for the first time, suing two merchants on one of its e-commerce platforms – just days after it was blacklisted by the U.S. government for hosting fake items. The Chinese firm filed a lawsuit against two sellers of fake Swarovski watches on its eBay-like Taobao platform with the Shenzhen Longgang District People's Court, claiming 1.4 million yuan ($201,482) in damages. While it may not seem like a large amount for a company like Alibaba but the company is hoping to stop others from hosting dodgy items. "We want to mete out to counterfeiters the punishment they deserve in order to protect brand owners. We will bring the full force of the law to bear on these counterfeiters so as to deter others from engaging in this crime wherever they are," said Zheng Junfang, chief platform governance officer at Alibaba Group, said in a press release on Wednesday. Shenzhen Luohu District police raided the seller on August 10, 2016 and confiscated over 125 counterfeit Swarovski watches, valuing nearly 2 million yuan, Alibaba said. Another fake Swarovski seller on Taobao was also found relating to the case during the raid. It's the first time Alibaba – or any e-commerce site in China – has taken legal action against its sellers and comes amid increasing criticism of the company's alleged inability to tackle counterfeits. The U.S. Office of the Trade Representative added Taobao to its "notorious markets" list after it was taken off in 2012.