China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the world’s largest e-commerce company, spent over 1 billion yuan ($160.7 million) combating fake goods and for improving customer protection from the beginning of 2013 to the end of November, the firm said Tuesday.
“From Alibaba Group’s perspective, we bear a serious responsibility in this fight against counterfeits,” said Alibaba Chief Executive Jonathan Lu in a statement.
Alibaba has been tackling counterfeit products with greater aggression in recent years, particularly in the run up to its record-setting $25 billion listing in New York in September.
A prevalence of counterfeits could hurt its ability to win over customers, investors and U.S. retail partners, the company said in its IPO prospectus.
Just a few years ago Alibaba’s businesses were listed on the U.S. Trade Representative’s list of “notorious markets” for intellectual property (IP) infringement.
But online fakes are still a big problem in China. In November, Chinese e-commerce companies held the annual Singles’ Day online shopping festival, created by Alibaba and featuring many discounted products. That day, Alibaba reported more than $9 billion in sales.
The official State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) conducted an investigation on counterfeits on Singles’ Day. It found 10.6 percent of the goods that it bought online from various vendors and platforms were fake or highly suspicious.