Alibaba Taps Former Apple Sleuth To Take On Counterfeiting

Alibaba is apparently serious in its efforts to tamp down the counterfeiting that some complain runs rampant on the site with the aid of a seasoned counterfeit fighter.

Matthew Bassiur, once Senior Director, Global Security & Counsel for IPR Enforcement at Apple, currently Vice President, Deputy Chief Security Officer at Pfizer, will soon be the Head of Global Intellectual Property Enforcement at Alibaba.

Starting in January, Bassiur will be the first ever in the role with the company noted is intended “to lead Alibaba Group’s industry-leading anti-counterfeiting efforts.” Bassiur will report in to newly hired business lead Michael Evans, a Goldman Sachs veteran.

Apart from his past experience at Apple and Pfizer, Bassiur also taught IP law at Renmin University in Beijing under the Fulbright program. Alibaba described him as having “deep familiarity with China.”

Alibaba narrowly missed a spot on the U.S. government’s black list for firms that have a problem with fakes, but counterfeiting remains a big issue for the eCommerce giant. As Alibaba is focused on international expansion, it continuously runs into roadblocks with desirable brands that are unhappy with the abundance of knock-offs sold on Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace.
Alibaba has reportedly recently invested in a sophisticated software and a 2,000-strong team focused on shutting down shop owners that are pushing fakes. However, reports also indicates that Alibaba does have something of an interest in keep its Chinese sellers — who continue to make money from selling fake items — happy, so there’s a compromise.
The question remaining is will Bassiur’s influence change much in the way of how business is done?


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