Jack Ma, a Chinese billionaire, was lauded President Donald Trump in January after the internet pledged to create more employment opportunities for American by opening a window for a million U.S businesses to sell their goods on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’s online shopping platforms in Asia.
However, Michel Keck, an Indiana artist has weighed in saying the platforms does more harm than help. Ms. Keck, whose painting work has been highlighted in a number of movies, TV shows and department stores, never sold her abstract paintings and mixed-media collages of dogs on Alibaba’s platforms. She however says fake copies of her work are sold on Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace, selling for as little as 3% less the original works.
Alibaba said it had scrapped several links reported by Ms. Keck but more sprang up soon. She says the notorious fake products on the online platform are hurting small and medium-sized businesses.
A U.S Trade Representative’s office, which maintains the list of markets for counterfeits, said Alibaba’s Taobao was reintroduced to the list due to problems experienced by right holders in trying to bring down fake sales and offers.
The list names and shames people and entities that are seen encouraging counterfeiting and piracy. Among those on the list are The Pirate Bay, a platform designed for sharing files and Silk Market a physical market place based in Beijing. Arete Research analyst Muzhi Li says Taobao’s inclusion on the notorious list may not have an immediate and direct effect on its business but may in the long run shy away investors from buying its stock.
In December Alibaba said it was in disappointed the USTR decision urging it more effective and advanced in protecting property rights compared to few years ago.
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Alibaba said it had removed over 380 million products as a result of infringing on property rights in a span of 12 months. The company also shut down 180,000 stores on its Taobao platform. Alibaba said over 1,100 brands are on the list of products to be taken down through the expedited takedown process. It is a process through which infringing listings are pulled down within an average half a day.