The association’s president and CEO Juanita Duggan lodged a complaint with the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White. A second complaint was filed with a representative of US Trade, Michael Froman. Both filings clearly stated that the complaints were in relation to the association’s consistent labors in fighting sale of fake goods. Moreover, AAFA implored for help in eliminating “the rampant proliferation of counterfeit apparel and footwear on the Taobao platform of Alibaba.” Last month, AAFA held an executive summit in Washington D.C. Ms. Duggan lashed out in her address to the summit as she pressed the importance of eradicating counterfeit goods from the system. She shed light on the significance of counterfeit elimination, as over 80% of US Customs and Borer Protection (CPB) seizures are in fact fashion related. Ms. Duggan mentioned in the complaints: “Alibaba’s Taobao platform is notorious as one of the biggest platforms for counterfeit goods worldwide. Our members encounter innumerable counterfeits on Taobao everyday, which results in millions of dollars of lost sales, damage to reputation, legal costs, and exhaustion of internal resources.”
She pressed that counterfeit elimination was highly crucial at this stage, as the association’s 1,000 plus members had so far displayed inefficiency in complete eradication of such goods. A fraction of AAFA’s members had only managed to takedown “a small percentage of infringing products.” Despite the stream of criticism Alibaba is engulfed in, the company has been displaying relentless cooperation in efforts of ridding counterfeit issues attached to its name. AAFA has been working closely with the company to address issues relating to lack of enforcement rights and trademarks and poor punishment system for any vendors. Nevertheless, despite the cooperation, Alibaba has been rather “sluggish” in the implementation of solutions. In fact, the execution of remedies has been somewhat “non-existant.” In 2014, the US’s Custom and Border Protection and the country’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations released a report, which exposed that a majority of fake goods captured fell in the category of accessories and apparel. Interestingly, Alibaba’s home ground, China, was found to be the chief source of shipped fake goods captured and seized by American agencies.
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- Summer '16
- Alibaba, Alibaba Group, Alibaba Group Holding