- Alibaba founder Jack Ma said counterfeit goods are better than original brands in quality
- He said factories use e-commerce platforms to sell the counterfeits directly to the consumers
- Alibaba has been criticized for profiting from the sales of fake products
Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, claims that Chinese-made counterfeit goods nowadays are often better than the genuine branded items, which poses as an additional challenge for Alibaba’s efforts to weed out fake products from its online shopping services.
“The problem is that the fake products today, they make better quality, better price than the real product, than the real names,” Ma said. “They’re the exact factories, the exact raw materials, but they do not use that name.”
Many of the world’s top brands turn to China for its low-cost manufacturing, and with the use of e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba, the same factories sell these products online directly to consumers for a much lower price. Because of this, Alibaba has come under fire in recent years for profiting from the sales of knock-off merchandise on its online marketplace, as per an article published by The Telegraph.
Consequently, Alibaba’s membership in the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) was suspended in May after questions about conflict of interest between Alibaba and the coalition were raised and a number of big brands dropped out of the group in protest.
“This is simply my observation of the issues facing brands and manufacturers. Counterfeiting is not a quality problem; counterfeiting is an intellectual property problem,” Ma said; following his earlier statement regarding fake goods.
His statement about the caliber of counterfeit products did not sit well with some who are trying to improve China’s reputation abroad.
Cao Lei, director of the China E-Commerce Research Center in Hangzhou, told Bloomberg: “It’s inappropriate for a person of Jack Ma’s status to say something like this. For some individual cases what he’s saying might be true, but it’s wrong to generalize the phenomenon.”