Alibaba Group issued the following statement from Jennifer Kuperman, head of international corporate communications, in response to the Washington, D.C.-based International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition’s decision to suspend its general membership category, which includes Alibaba and other e-commerce companies, until further discussion with its members.
Alibaba remains firmly committed to the protection of intellectual property rights and combatting counterfeits. We believe the most effective way to solve the counterfeiting problem is through strong industry collaboration. Intermediaries like Alibaba must be an integral part of the solution. We believe the IACC’s suspension of the general membership category is a step in the wrong direction and regrettable. It highlights a fundamental difference in how we want to solve this problem.
Alibaba has had a zero-tolerance policy towards counterfeit goods. We are leading a constructive and collaborative approach to anti-counterfeiting that involves working closely with all brands, regardless of our standing with the IACC. Unfortunately, those who pressured the IACC on this decision prefer a confrontational approach: pitting brands against Alibaba and other industry participants in the hopes of prolonged litigation.
Alibaba had chosen to join the IACC in order to work with more brands on data-driven anti-counterfeit initiatives, and to exchange best practices in intellectual property protection. The world today is vastly different from the era when the IACC was created. Counterfeiters are becoming increasingly high-tech, global, and hidden. We believe brands must look ahead to a world where the internet and online commerce play a significant role in the way consumers live and shop. Now is the time for partnership and action. Together, we must embrace the future. We encourage the IACC and the entire industry to adapt to current trends, adopt a more open and collaborative approach, and embrace new technologies in order to bring about positive change for the industry and all its members.
The most recent IACC decision will not impact our aggressive fight against counterfeits. We look forward to engaging with the IACC membership on IP enforcement issues on May 19th in Orlando, Florida. Given the IACC’s desire for additional time to reflect upon the viability of its general membership category, Alibaba feels it best that Jack Ma postpone his appearance. We have informed the IACC of our decision, and are pleased to announce that the President of Alibaba Group, Michael Evans, will represent Alibaba at the conference.