Alibaba has spent more than $160 million (1 billion yuan) combating counterfeit goods and improving customer protection since the start of 2013, the company said Tuesday (Dec. 23).
The Chinese e-commerce giant has stepped up its efforts to fight fake products in recent years, especially in the run up to its record-setting $25 billion IPO in September. At the time, the company said its prospectus that a prevalence of counterfeits could hurt its ability to win over customers, investors and U.S. retail partners.
And just a few years ago, Alibaba’s businesses were listed on the U.S. Trade Representative’s list of “notorious markets” for intellectual property infringement, Reuters reported.
“From Alibaba Group’s perspective, we bear a serious responsibility in this fight against counterfeits,” Alibaba CEO Jonathan Lu said in a prepared statement.
But despite Alibaba’s efforts, online fakes are still a big problem in China. For example, during November’s Singles Day online shopping festival, which Alibaba created and sponsored, Alibaba reported more than $9 billion in sales. China’s official State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) conducted an investigation on counterfeits on Singles Day and found 10.6 percent of the goods it bought online from various vendors and platforms were fake or highly suspicious.