China’s Alibaba kicked out of anti-counterfeiting group

Photo of author

By Larry Banks

An anti-counterfeiting group said last Friday that it would suspend Alibaba Group Holding’s membership, over concerns raised by its member companies.

The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) statement came after a report that the president of the group, Robert Barchiesi, held stock in Alibaba and that he also used members of his own family to run the coalition.

The group informed members that it failed to inform the board about conflicts of interest on Barchiesi’s part.

In a letter to members, the IACC said conflicts failed to be disclosed to the board “because of a weakness in our corporate governance procedures”.

Several brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent have accused Alibaba of being a large conduit for counterfeiters.

Earlier in May Alibaba said its Internet shopping platform Taobao was tightening sales of luxury goods, requiring its sellers to show proof of their authenticity, as it struggles to stem the flow of fake goods.

The IACC, which counts Apple and Twenty-First Century Fox as members, said it was suspending a special class of membership including Alibaba and two other companies. Alibaba joined the IACC in April this year.

“Whether or not we are a member of the IACC, we will continue our productive and results-oriented relationships with brands, governments, and all industry partners”, said Jennifer Kuperman, Alibaba’s head of international affairs.

The founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, is due to speak at an IACC spring conference, according to its spokeswoman Marcia Horowitz.

SOURCE: Reuters.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos