Taobao and IACC join forces in counterfeit battle

Taobao logo on laptop screenChinese online marketplace Taobao has pledged to crack down on the sale of counterfeit goods through its portal with the help of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition.

Taobao and the IACC have agreed to work together on a framework to tackle online sales of fake products after more than a year of negotiations.

Taobao is the largest e-commerce company in China and is part of the Alibaba Group which has been criticised in the past for not doing enough to prevent counterfeiters making use of its online platforms to peddle illicit goods.

The company has been stepping up its efforts in recent months, however, ahead of a planned $70bn initial public offering (IPO) which could take place later this year.

John Spelich, Alibaba's vice president for international corporate affairs, said of the IACC deal that: "our goal at Taobao is to be synonymous in consumers' minds with trust and value; this collaboration, and all of our efforts with intellectual property owners, are key components to achieving that goal."

Taobao and the IACC began the discussions that led to today's agreement in 2012, following calls from the Obama Administration for private-sector stakeholders to undertake voluntary efforts to address intellectual property theft on the Internet, according to the anti-counterfeiting group.

The new agreement also expands upon an earlier cooperation between the IACC and the payment processing sector, it said.

"This partnership advances the interests of our member companies, of Taobao, and of consumers," said Bob Barchiesi, IACC president, adding: "it's a win, win, win."

The IACC and its participating members will assist Taobao with the identification of listings for infringing products offered for sale on the platform, and of repeat or high-volume infringers, which will be subject to expedited removal procedures.

The parties will also collaborate to assist law enforcement with follow-up investigations and offline enforcement.

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