Alibaba has launched an industry initiative that aims to use big data to curb the level of counterfeit activity online, called the Big Data Anti-Counterfeit Alliance.
20 brands, including Louis Vuitton, Samsung, Swarovski, Mars and Huawei have joined, as well as anti-counterfeit experts, trade bodies. Alibaba says the Chinese government and law enforcement has also expressed support for the initiative.
Scott Thompson, general counsel of marketing properties at Mars Inc, said: “We take efforts to eradicate anti-counterfeiting very seriously and are encouraged by the alliance’s commitment to use big data and advanced technologies to thwart it. We look forward to continuing to working with Alibaba and others to break the supply chain of counterfeit goods, and create an environment where counterfeiters can no longer hide.”
The trade off in becoming a partner is that Alibaba has agreed to supply brands with dat and tech support with IP enforcement, helping brands to tap into its proactive system on its marketplace. In return, brands are sharing expertise on IP authentication, as well as helping with leads that will help Alibaba and law enforcement agencies take action.
Jessie Zheng, chief platform governance officer of Alibaba Group, said: “The most powerful weapon against counterfeiting today is data and analytics, and the only way we can win this war is to unite. Alibaba welcomes brands and other organizations in the creation of the world’s first Big Data Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance. With our robust data capabilities, we are confident the alliance will accelerate the digital transformation in our global fight against counterfeits.”
The move is the latest in a stream of activities in which Alibaba is trying to prove to brands and customers globally that it takes counterfeiting seriously. Despite it already believing to be investing significant amounts in this area, it found itself back on the US ‘notorious markets’ report late last year.
It also follows hot on the heels of its first major conviction, in which the business used big data to uncover a counterfeit racquet using the Swarovski trademark on its marketplace platforms.