Gucci is reluctant to partner with Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com due to the widespread counterfeiting on the platforms.
The luxury brand’s chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri has blamed the widespread counterfeiting on the Chinese e-commerce platforms as the reason the luxury brand continues to avoid working with the sites.
Speaking at the Business of Fashion conference in Shanghai, Bizzarri said, “Frankly speaking, on most of the platforms there’s a lot of counterfeiting, and I don’t want to certify counterfeiting because I belong to these platforms,” according to reports in the Financial Times.
Bizzarri said Gucci, which is part of the French luxury group Kering, was currently in contact with both of China’s e-commerce giants, however, was reluctant to join the platforms. Gucci currently sells its products in China via its own website.
“There’s something wrong with counterfeiting and at this point I want to stay away,” continued Bizzarri. “Instead of taking a risk, I wait,” he said. “We are in a situation of wait and see.”
The comments are at odds with a statement released by Kering last year, after the group dropped its lawsuit against Alibaba and committed to working with the e-commerce giant to create a joint task force to fight counterfeits.
Kering had initially launched the legal action in 2015 when it accused Alibaba of being complicit in the sale of counterfeit goods on its websites.
Alibaba has introduced a number of anti-counterfeiting initiatives, such as the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA) which now has 105 members including L'Oreal, Bose, Samsung and Canada Goose.
Alibaba also claims to have achieved "notable improvements" in its IP protection efforts after increasing the number of registered brands and rights holders on its sights and implementing faster response times to takedown requests and removal of illicit listings.
However, despite these and other initiatives, the e-commerce company has continued to appear on the USTR ‘notorious markets’ list.
While Alibaba has come under pressure for counterfeit goods, rival JD.com has largely been viewed as a safe platform for brands due to its strict IP protection. This was cited as a key reason behind its partnership deal with luxury fashion e-commerce site Farfetch.
China is the world’s largest luxury goods market and is worth $20.5bn, according to Bain.