Feeds

Alibaba and the thwarted thieves: Cops, bazaar to tackle China's piracy

Magic carpet of tat pulled from under counterfeiters

High performance access to file storage

The biggest e-shopping site in China - a nation considered the counterfeit capital of the world - has promised to help decapitate the "snake" of knockoff goods.

Online bazaar Alibaba will, we're told, work closely with five government and law enforcement agencies including the Ministry of Public Security and the State Intellectual Property Office.

And the web company's founder Jack Ma heralded the “milestone” partnership during his last public engagement as CEO.

Broadly speaking, Alibaba – which runs Taobao, China's eBay equivalent, and online retailer Tmall – will now share information on counterfeiters who try to sell their goods on its various platforms.

The firm already offers merchants an online reporting system which allows for the removal of infringing listings, of which there were 94 million in 2012 alone. Up until now the culprits have largely evaded capture.

“On e-commerce platforms, every single transaction creates a record, and every piece of information about sellers of counterfeit products is traceable,” said Alibaba's chief risk officer Polo Shao.

“Internet technology … when paired with offline efforts can be used to create targeted initiatives to drive intellectual property protection as well as cut off the head of the snake in an attempt to purge society of counterfeit goods.”

Alibaba said it will also form an intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and anti-counterfeiting task force, to be led by new CEO Jonathan Lu, so that it remains focused on the issue in the future.

The past year has seen something of a turnaround for the e-commerce giant, which until a few months ago was included on the United States Trade Representative (USTR) blacklist of “notorious markets” for piracy.

The USTR has since removed the firm, having seen enough to satisfy it that Alibaba is now on board with its anti-piracy goals.

It’s not clear if the initiative announced this week was done so at the behest of the Chinese government, although it has certainly been mooting tighter regulation of the e-commerce industry. Online fraudsters in the PRC apparently made off with 30 billion yuan (£3bn) in 2011.

The government has also been looking to clamp down more generally on IPR protection, beginning with a US$160 million (£102m) plan to ensure all government-owned software is properly licensed.

It’s obviously in Alibaba’s interest to keep its own house in better order too, especially if the firm eventually wants to IPO, as many say it will soon. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.