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Luxury fashion labels and Alibaba in counterfeiting row

Gucci America has become the second brand to quit the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) since the US-based group allowed Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to become a member last month.

Describing Alibaba as “our most dangerous and damaging adversary”, Michael Kors left the IACC just after the Washington, DC-based group let Alibaba join.

Gucci, along with other Kering Group brands like Balenciaga, is suing Alibaba in New York, accusing it of knowingly encouraging and profiting from the sale of counterfeit goods on its e-commerce platforms. Alibaba has dismissed the suit as “wasteful litigation”.

“The IACC stands by its decision and is committed to lean into the future and lead a coalition of the willing,” IACC president Robert Barchiesi said. “Whether it’s payment processors or online marketplaces, the choice is clear, they must be an integral part of the solution.”

Alibaba’s membership is in a special category without voting rights, originally created when eBay asked to join the coalition, which it has not done as yet.

Alibaba says its membership will allow it to work more closely and effectively with brands to enforce intellectual property rights.

There are more than 250 members of the IACC including Apple, Chanel and Cisco Systems.

Meanwhile, Alibaba Group boss Jack Ma has been confirmed as the IACC’s spring conference speaker.

This story first appeared on sister site, Inside Retail Asia

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