Alibaba is at a crossroad. The path it picks will profoundly affect the company’s future. Why should sellers and marketers care? Well, if Alibaba’s *health* declines, it could impact the e-commerce ecosystem.
Alibaba E-commerce Update: Counterfeits and Government Skepticism
What should you know about Alibaba’s current position?
- Many U.S. officials want Alibaba on the Notorious Markets List because of alleged counterfeit goods on the site. This latest warning isn’t the first time a counterfeit outbreak has hurt the platform. Before its IPO, Alibaba was on the List; but cleaned up its act, and got removed in 2012. (UPDATE: U.S. officials put Alibaba back on the Notorious Markets List at the end of 2016.)
- Ostensibly in response to U.S. concerns, Jack Ma — the Mark Zuckerberg of Alibaba — has promised to scrub the site of scammers and insists he’s never “missed any meetings relating to [Alibaba’s] anti-counterfeit team.” Another show of commitment? The company hired a slew of new employees to work on the Alibaba e-commerce counterfeit problem.
- Ma hinted at an Internet-wide strategy, specifically mentioning JD.com and WeChat. Choosing rodents as an allegorical vehicle, Ma explained, “If before we were huffing and puffing to chase down and kill mice, now what we’re going to do is annihilating [sic] the environment the mice need to survive.”
- Alibaba allegedly partnered with law enforcement officials to arrest 75 suspected *e-commerce criminals.* In other words, the platform isn’t necessarily a privacy stronghold. Be aware.
- Another interesting tidbit? Whispers indicate that Chinese officials could be “turning against” Alibaba over some tension between Ma and China’s President Xi Jinping. You can read about it here. Will the beef affect Alibaba’s platform? Believe it or not, there is a chance — albeit slim. But, China’s current administration has shown a Napoleonic appetite for Internet control. Watch this space.
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- Have counterfeiters latched onto one (or more) of your products?
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If you want to read more Alibaba e-commerce updates and other online retail legal news, head here.
Lopez, L. (2016, March 21). There are signs that China is turning against Alibaba. Retrieved April 18, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.in/There-are-signs-that-China-is-turning-against-Alibaba/articleshow/51502849.cms
Custer, C. (2016, March 14). Tech in Asia – Connecting Asia’s startup ecosystem. Retrieved April 18, 2016, from https://www.techinasia.com/jack-ma-lays-alibabas-brutal-strategy-war-fake-counterfeit-goods