Alibaba has once again been labeled as one of the largest destinations for counterfeit products by the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative (USTR).
After four years of being left off of the USTR’s annual Notorious Markets blacklist, the eCommerce giant has found itself continuing to combat against its reputation of being a major source of fake goods, Internet Retailer reported.
In a statement, Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group, said the company was very disappointed with the decision and felt like it ignores “the real work Alibaba has done against counterfeiters.”
“Our results speak for themselves,” Alibaba said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the USTR’s decision leads us to question whether the USTR acted based on the actual facts or was influenced by the current political climate.”
In an email Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang sent to the company’s anti-counterfeiting team, which Alibaba later made public, Zhang expressed his disappointment in the decision but made it clear that Alibaba landing back on the list was not due to a lack of trying to avoid it.
“We are disappointed today but not because we didn’t fight hard enough. It is because, even though we gave it our all and then some, the United States Trade Representative has returned Taobao to the ‘Notorious Markets’ list,” his email read.
“Our efforts and investments into anti-counterfeit was never motivated by some list, and neither will it have any bearing on our continual fight against counterfeit moving forward,” Zhang added. “In all that we do, we are guided by our mission to ‘make it easy to do business anywhere,’ to ensure and promote fairness on our Taobao marketplace and to serve the 400 million consumers that love our retail marketplaces.”
Alibaba’s effort to fight against counterfeits has been a hot topic of debate.
Just months ago, a variety of international trade groups sent Alibaba a letter to inform it that its recent efforts were insufficient to quell the tidal wave of counterfeit goods that is currently flooding the various marketplaces Alibaba operates.
While the groups acknowledged Alibaba’s efforts, they noted the site’s software is not capable of spotting fakes so long as photographs are “moderately blurry.”
Earlier this week, Alibaba said it is now using the power of cloud computing to fight the growing threat of pirates and counterfeiters. The Chinese eCommerce giant said that its own Operation “Cloud Sword” led to the arrest of more than 300 counterfeit gang member suspects in 164 investigations.