Chinese e-commerce giant under fire in the US from luxury brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent
Alibaba faces a major lawsuit following claims that it sold counterfeit luxury goods.
The Chinese ecommerce giant is being sued by Paris-based Kering SA, which owns brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, which alleges that Alibaba is allowing criminals to sell counterfeit versions of their goods.
This includes an alleged fake Gucci bag offered for $2 to $5 each by a Chinese merchant to buyers seeking at least 2,000 units, whereas Kering says that an authentic Gucci bag retails for $795 (£506).
Fake or flawed?
“We continue to work in partnership with numerous brands to help them protect their intellectual property, and we have a strong track record of doing so,” Alibaba spokesman Bob Christie said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, Kering Group has chosen the path of wasteful litigation instead of the path of constructive cooperation. We believe this complaint has no basis and we will fight it vigorously.”
This is not the first time that Alibaba has been called up for allegedly peddling counterfeit goods, with Kering SA filing a similar lawsuit last July, before withdrawing this to refocus for a larger suit.
Alibaba had claimed it was pumping significant resources into fighting counterfeiting, revealing last December that it had spent more than 1 billion yuan (£103m) fighting counterfeits on its websites from the beginning of 2013 up to November 2014, removing 90 million listings that may have been fake.
The company said it plans to add another 200 staff to the 2,000 employees and 5,400 volunteers currently involved in removing counterfeits as part of its plans to establish itself as a true ecommerce titan following a record-breaking IPO earlier this year.
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