A Santos de Cartier watch launching on Mr Porter

FIGHTING THE FAKERS: Compagnie Financière Richemont has become the latest international corporation to join Alibaba’s Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance, which aims to protect intellectual property rights on the e-commerce giant’s platforms.

Alibaba said this week that Richemont is now among 115 members from 16 countries and regions that are part of the AACA. Richemont said it would share its technology, expertise and other information to support the Alliance’s efforts.

Richemont has long been an anti-counterfeit crusader, with a robust in-house legal team that has gone after watch and jewelry counterfeiters and the sales platforms that sell their goods.

Richemont, New Balance, General Motors and McDonald’s, are the latest global brands to join the AACA, according to Alibaba. The alliance’s membership has more than tripled from the original 30 founding brands at its launch in 2017.

Alibaba said it works with brand partners to find and eliminate fakes at their source. In the luxury sector, Alibaba and Louis Vuitton — one of the first members of AACA — conducted an offline investigation that resulted in the seizure in May of approximately $14.4 million worth of counterfeit goods.

“The protection of intellectual property rights requires all stakeholders to work closely together and share their expertise. The AACA will continue its efforts to establish industry best practices for IP protection by creating effective collaboration among brands, platforms and law enforcement,” said Michael Yao, Alibaba’s senior vice president and head of brand protection and cooperation.

As reported in October, Richemont and Alibaba plan to establish a joint venture that will see the launch of two mobile apps for Net and Mr Porter, with Alibaba providing technology infrastructure, marketing, payments, logistics and other technology support to the JV.

In addition, Net and Mr Porter will open online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion. YNAP and Alibaba said they plan to explore future offerings to enable the JV’s customers to enjoy “unique and seamless online and off-line shopping experiences” through digitizing and fully integrating the retail value chain, from merchandising and marketing to payments and last-mile delivery.

The JV will focus on serving consumers in China and also extend to Chinese consumers traveling abroad.