- Kristopher Fraser |
Alibaba has found themselves in trouble for counterfeiting. The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has issued a letter to the United States government demanding that they take action against e-tailer Taobao, a site owned by Alibaba, for their counterfeiting practices. The letter discusses the "rampant proliferation" of counterfeit products on the website.
For years, Taobao was placed on the blacklist for U.S. trade authorities until they were finally taken off in 2013 and 2014. This was also when this became a major issue because Alibaba began to expand their presence in America. The AAFA has cited that Alibaba has done little to mitigate this problem.
"The slow pace has convinced us that Alibaba is either not capable of or interested in addressing this problem," the association’s CEO, Juanita Duggan, stated in the letter. They are hoping to get Taobao back on the blacklist so they can begin taking steps against Taobao's shameless counterfeiting. Getting Taobao back on the blacklist might not even be that great of a challenge.
Beijing has criticized Taobao for their counterfeiting practices, so, the U.S. government could be forced to bow to pressure. On January 28th, 2015, the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Compliance published a document on their website discussing Taobao's counterfeiting practices and criticizing Alibaba for failing to address the problem. With the counterfeit industry growing bigger everyday it is important that organizations stand up against sites like Taobao that practice engage in this heinous business practice. Hopefully they end up on the blacklist soon, because it is unjust for company's to be ripping off actual designers hard work.