Alibaba’s Taobao blacklisted again over its problem with fake goods

On AliBaba, there are millions of suppliers listing their products. Which makes it easier to find a supplier but the hardest part comes in selecting the right one. Or you can say that the most dangerous obstacle in your path to the perfect supplier is the ocean of scammers and middle-men. But it has become difficult to control for the popular online shopping platform Taobao of Alibaba. The platform is not happy about its problem with the availability of fake goods.

The US Trade Representative’s 2017 list of a ‘notorious market’ that was released on Friday, has listed Alibaba’s Taobao platform consecutively for the second year. Taobao has been accused of being a place where over half of the world’s fake goods originate including fake baby formula, mutton, eggs, as well as housing counterfeiters.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, China has long been faced with the problem of counterfeit goods. But the company has been trying to make people understand that the platform is saturated with such goods and because of this effort, it helped take the platform off the blacklist for four years in 2012.

The company’s founder Jack Ma has urged the government of China to set tough penalties for such counterfeits. On a high-level meeting in March, he called for counterfeits to be punished as drunk drivers. He wrote a letter to the Chinese government to criticize for its indistinct counterfeiting rules and appealing for harsher penalties as his own company has become a victim to such goods. The USTR has praised the efforts made by Jack Ma but its stresses on taking more active measures including the removal of the suspected vendors selling counterfeits.

The Chinese enforcement should make arrests and facility closure for bringing an end to this issue. According to the USTR report, Alibaba has provided the information that does not directly reflect the scope and status of the counterfeiting problem on its Taobao.com platform and is only expressive of the progress that has been made.

The Alibaba Group President Michael Evans does not agree with what has been reported and says that their platform is the most transparent than any platform in the world. He also disagreed with the USTR’s observation seems more directed towards global brands instead of small and medium enterprises. He says that the authority is not interested in seeing the tangible results which have been possible due to Alibaba’s efforts.

The company considers the results as a biased and politicized process. It is because of the rise of the trade protectionism, the USTR in order to win points in an extremely politicized environment, has turned Alibaba into a victim. The recent action by the authority has made it clear that it just aims to achieve the US Government’s geopolitical objectives. The company wants to continue to strengthen the IP protection system with advanced technology and a collaborative approach with brands as well as the stakeholders. The platform has almost 100,000 brands including 75% of the world’s most valuable consumer brands that are a part of the platform.

Written by Hisham Sarwar

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