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Alibaba sets up alliance to track fake goods via big data

By He Wei in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-16 13:53

E-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd announced on Monday the establishment of an anti-counterfeit alliance that will use big data technologies, its latest drive to stamp out fake goods.

By teaming up with 20 world-class brands, including Louis Vuitton, Shiseido and Huawei, Alibaba encourages merchants to help its anti-piracy campaign rather than trade rebukes on the issue.

Big data technologies are being used to identify suspected fake merchandise sold online, by evaluating unit price and purchase frequency. They then acquire product samples from storefront and have the brands verify the authenticity.

If the products are confirmed to be fake, Alibaba would provide information to police to locate the sellers.

Alibaba will prioritize technological support to alliance members and involve them in the policymaking, implementation and adjustment of anti-fake campaigns, said Jessie Zheng, chief platform governance officer.

Through the platform, member companies can also coordinate directly with a number of local authorities including police, quality inspection, and industry and commerce, on anti-counterfeit campaigns.

The operator of the world's largest online shopping sites had filed lawsuits against two fake Swarovski watch sellers earlier this month, the first such lawsuits in China, and has vowed to take more rogue vendors to court.

Alibaba has been taking action to bolster its reliability and boost credibility, after a number of brands including Gucci and Hermes voiced concern of rampant knockoffs on its website and had the company suspended from the International Anti Counterfeiting Coalition, a nonprofit organization in May 2016.

Last year it cracked down on 417 manufacturing and sales spots of counterfeit products worth 1.43 billion yuan ($207 million). It also budgeted millions of dollars per year on advanced technology and human capital to keep fake off its online marketplaces.

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