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Taobao to tackle counterfeits

Updated: 2013-12-04 15:14
By XU JUNQIAN and ZHOU WENTING in SHANGHAI (, China's largest online shopping bazzar, is taking further measures to tackle the selling of counterfeit products sold on its marketplace by teaming up with global luxury brands.

Luxury accessory brand Coach, from the United States, issued a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday, together with Alibaba Group, the owner of Taobao, regarding identification and removal of listings and merchants of counterfeit Coach products on the Taobao platform.

The MOU renews the version signed by the two parties in 2011. Later that year, Coach became the first luxury brand to open an e-commerce store in China on, for one month.

In October, Louis Vuitton also signed an MOU with Taobao to crack down on counterfeits.

But this time, the punishment for selling fake luxury goods on the customer-to-customer platform is harsher. Stores that are discovered to have listed fake luxury brand products will be forced to close down for a specified period.

Previously, they were required just to remove those listings. wrote on its store front page that one store had been closed for three weeks, pending verification of a product.

The store owner refused to talk to China Daily more about the closure, when approached, but he said it's the most difficult time since he opened the store in 2009.

Some online sellers claimed that their unusually low-priced luxury products were bought from overseas outlets or substandard products from "exclusive suppliers" who also manufacture products for the brand companies.

Coach China defines counterfeit products as "any usage of Coach's IPR without Coach's authorization".

"We have a zero tolerance policy for counterfeiting throughout the world," Coach China told China Daily.

"Our commitment to working with brands, platforms and government agencies to effectively protect intellectual property rights and root out counterfeiters has never been stronger," Ni Liang, senior director of Internet security, Alibaba Group, said in the joint statement with Coach.

"We believe these types of meaningful and significant partnerships are the way forward in tackling intellectual property infringement."

Lyu Guoqiang, director of Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration, said the protection of intellectual property with online business needs to be beefed up in the country.

"Protection of intellectual property related to business on the Internet was stressed in a work conference held by the State Council last month. The government is determined to regulate and rectify the online market and will issue strict penalties to those who sell counterfeit products," Lyu said.

The rapid development of online shopping has made protection of intellectual property online a global issue, according to Lyu, and some developed countries are mulling laws to deter violators.