Alibaba wants counterfeiters to go out of fashion from its online platform
E-commerce giant hopes to build credibility by collaborating with more foreign luxury brands on anti-counterfeiting after Louis Vuitton deal
Alibaba Group, the mainland's biggest e-commerce services provider, looks set to burnish its credentials with more foreign luxury brands after it forged an anti-counterfeiting pact with French fashion house Louis Vuitton Malletier.
Taobao Marketplace, Alibaba's popular consumer-to-consumer online shopping platform, last week agreed to co-operate with Louis Vuitton in taking down listings of suspected counterfeit goods and implementing preventive measures against the sale of fake merchandise.
It marked the first time that a brand under LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the Paris-based luxury goods conglomerate, has collaborated with a leading e-commerce platform in China to combat counterfeiting.
Other brands owned by LVMH included Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, Loro Piana, Fendi and Donna Karan.
"We look forward to joining efforts with more rights holders and brands from around the world to collaborate on anti-counterfeiting in the internet space," an Alibaba spokeswoman said yesterday.
She pointed out that the Chinese company "already works with several hundred international and domestic Chinese rights-holders on intellectual property protection".
US luxury brand Coach, a New York-based maker of bags and accessories, had signed a deal similar to Louis Vuitton's with Taobao Marketplace in December 2011.
According to internet consultancy iResearch, the value of China's e-commerce market will reach 10.2 trillion yuan (HK$12.9 trillion) this year, from 8.1 trillion yuan last year.
During that period, online shopping is forecast to grow to 18.2 per cent of the total market, up from 16 per cent.
Taobao Marketplace and Tmall, Alibaba's business-to-consumer online shopping platform, posted a combined gross merchandise value in excess of 1 trillion yuan last year.
However, opportunities for further growth in China's e-commerce market have been tempered by the lingering problem of counterfeit items.
Valérie Sonnier, the global intellectual property director at Louis Vuitton, said collaborations with large players such as Alibaba were "invaluable" to stop the growth in the trade of counterfeit merchandise both online and offline.
Hangzhou-based Alibaba, which has plans to conduct an initial public offering, stepped up its efforts in August by joining forces with the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, the world's largest anti-counterfeiting group.
Alibaba's agreement with the coalition involves working together to help law-enforcement authorities in their investigation of counterfeiters.