SHANGHAI — Alibaba Group will add 200 extra staff to battle counterfeit products on its platforms.
This is according to the company’s newly appointed chief platform governing officer Zheng Junfeng, who was speaking to Chinese media for the first time in her new role on Monday.
Zheng reiterated the company line, repeatedly attributed to executive chairman Jack Ma, that counterfeit products are “tumors of society” and outlined a plan for big data technology to be utilized to trace and report the source of fake products to the authorities.
According to its own numbers, Alibaba has invested more than one billion yuan, or about $154 million at current exchange, in fighting counterfeits on its platforms.
The news of the additional staff to fight counterfeits comes a week after the company hired Matthew Bassiur, formerly of drug group Pfizer and Apple Inc., to head its global intellectual property enforcement and just two weeks after the U.S. government sent a strong warning to Alibaba Group and its Taobao e-commerce platform about fakes.
Though the U.S. Trade Representative Office declined to relist Alibaba and Taobao on its “Notorious Markets” watch list, the report did say that USTR is “increasingly concerned by rights holders’ reports that Alibaba Group’s enforcement program is too slow, difficult to use and lacks transparency.”