Friday, November 20, 2015

Alibaba’s Global Ambitions Face Counterfeit Challenge

By; Gillian Wong
Nov. 10, 2015 4:27 am ET

By now, many consumers are familiar with Alibaba Limited, the number one e-commerce company in China. Many products from beauty and fashion to gardening and home improvement can be found at affordable prices on the site. Unfortunately, AliExpress has been increasingly scrutinized for the sell of counterfeit items.

Manufacturers are becoming worried about the global implications of having unauthorized goods advertised and sold with their branding. Because of the increasing complaints from both customers and manufacturers, Alibaba has allowed for consumers and companies to flag counterfeit goods for expedient removal. What the site is failing to consider is the number of consumers who are intentionally using their site to purchase these fake goods. 

As a consequence of the high number of counterfeit items posted, Alibaba has been sued and many countries are wary of letting their items be sold on the platform. This issue is one that we have encountered in the chapter 7 and again in chapter 18. If the counterfeiting is not reduced or eliminated, it is possible that many companies will begin to make their products more exclusive. 


  1. The fight to eliminate counterfiet goods is booming and has shifted not just from handbags and shoes but to medicine and pesticides as well. Although I like Alibaba as a consumer, creating transparency for its customers may seem to almost impossible until a sense of loyalty is created amongst seller and buyer.

    So the defintion of counterfeit, highlights the following " made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud. Although stores like WalMart and CVS or Walgreens are not in the business to defraud or deceive you, when they carry a WalMart/ CVS/ Walgreen brand is that considered counterfieting too?

    1. I honestly wouldn't consider it counterfeiting because although CVS and Walgreens have their own generic brand, they alway market it as the 'CVS version of Product X'. I do think that the allowance of these similar products has caused consumers to worry less about name brands and their quality. Honestly, it could be a cultural shift in our generation.