Lazada has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Korea’s intellectual property regulator, Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency (KOIPA), pledging to remove any Korean counterfeit goods on its platform.
The MOU, which is the first-ever partnership between a South Korean intellectual property regulator and an e-commerce company in South East Asia, will enable Lazada and KOIPA to kickstart a process that allows for the reporting and removal of listings that violate the Intellectual Property (IP) rights of Korean brands in countries where Lazada operates.
The partnership makes sense because Korean beauty and fashion are the most popular categories across LazMall and Lazada’s cross-border sellers, Gladys Chun, the general counsel and head of government affairs at Lazada Group tells The Drum. The top Korean brands in the region are Laneige, Innisfree, Etude House, Mamonde and 3CE.
“The combined followers for their Lazada Flagship Stores are more than 200,000,” she says. “Laneige, Mamonde, Innisfree and 3CE were top search terms in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam during the recent Lazada 11.11 Shopping Festival.”
Chun declined to disclose the number of counterfeit products Lazada removed from its platform this year but explained that when Lazada is alerted to sellers that upload or sell infringing content or items on its platform, it will work with relevant stakeholders to verify and confirm the authenticity.
For confirmed counterfeits, it will remove the listing and impose penalties on errant sellers, which includes being blacklisted or banned.
“Such measures to curb illicit trading of goods on Lazada are aimed at boosting the confidence and preserving the trust of shoppers on our platform,” she said.
“In Lazada, we respect and collaborate with rights holders in safeguarding their IP through a combination of proactive and reactive measures. It is incumbent on us to create that trusted space for shoppers and brands, giving them the peace-of-mind that we will always be acting in their best interests.”
Lazada’s parent Alibaba and its rival JD.com have long struggled with removing counterfeit products on their platforms. It has led to luxury brands like Gucci blaming the widespread counterfeiting on their e-commerce platforms as the reason why it continues to avoid working with them.
In May, Alibaba claimed to have achieved ‘notable improvements’ in its IP protection efforts with an increase in registered brands and rights holders and faster response times to takedown requests. It also announced it had recruited 105 brands to joins its Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA).