HONG KONG — Alibaba president Michael Evans shot back at renewed complaints from the American Apparel and Footwear Association on Thursday, calling the group’s accusations that Alibaba is not doing enough to fight the sale of counterfeit goods on its platforms “illogical and “flat-out wrong.”
On Wednesday, the AAFA renewed its push to have Alibaba re-listed by the US Trade Representative on its “Notorious Markets” list. The letter, which asked Alibaba to simplify and increase the transparency of the reporting process on Taobao, was signed by 17 other organizations including the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
It came out the same day that AAFA president and ceo Rick Helfenbein said Alibaba’s response to their filing was the “stupidest defense I’ve ever heard a company make”.
In a statement published on the Alizila blog, Evans said “in its USTR complaint, the AAFA leveled other accusations that mischaracterize our position, are illogical or are flat-out wrong.”
“The persistence of some level of counterfeit listings on a platform the scale of Alibaba despite our massive efforts is not evidence of insincerity, bad faith, a lack of adequate expenditure, or any of the other rash conclusions AAFA asks USTR to reach,” he said. “It is, instead, a recognition that no set of procedures can entirely eradicate the presence of counterfeit products on marketplaces such as Alibaba’s.”
The company said in the year leading up to September, it proactively closed around 180,000 Taobao stores and had measures in place to prevent the sale of illegal goods that went well beyond legal requirements.
Although Alibaba didn’t disclose how long it took on average to resolve a complaint due to it being “business confidential”, its average takedown time has been reduced from the year before, it said.