Jack Ma is Now Backpedaling On What He Said About Chinese Knockoffs

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma revealed what his company will never have: counterfeit goods. He made this point over Wall Street Journal soon after claiming that the company, now valued at $190 billion, was his life’s biggest mistake.

Ma addressed the misinterpretation following an earlier statement he made at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou. He said at the time, “The problem is the fake products today are of better quality and better price than the real names. They are exactly the [same] factories, exactly the same raw materials but they do not use the names.”

Now, the Chinese billionaire said he was taken out of context, taking time to explain himself. He wrote via Wall Street Journal, “So when I see reports in the press taking my recent words about counterfeit goods out of context, I feel compelled to set the record straight. This is my responsibility to all of our stakeholders.”

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Ma pointed that his e-commerce business will have zero tolerance for fake products. He clarified that his comment at Hangzhou was an observation of dynamics shift arising from economic and technological progress.

Last month, Alibaba was booted out of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition’s (IACC) following the exit of member companies like Michael Kors and Tiffany. As told by CNBC, these bodies quit in protest of Alibaba’s inclusion.

These days, the tag “Made in China” can be found virtually anywhere. It is also true that the counterfeit market has been existent in the country for decades. As a matter of fact, according to The Guardian, it is now a multibillion-dollar business that produces a good majority of items seized at US borders.

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An earlier report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime also revealed that China is indeed the planet’s counterfeit capital. At the time, nearly 70 percent of seized counterfeits all around the world came from the country, Business Insider wrote.

And things may have gone to extremes, as faking is not limited to perishable goods. Last month, Chinese police arrested three men after being accused of preparing and selling artificial jellyfish.

Allegedly, the suspects began making counterfeits in June 2015, using sodium alginate, calcium chloride and aluminum sulfate. Authorities were able to confiscate over 1 ton of the fake marine creature on separate occasions, People’s Daily reported. However, it has been noted that more than 10 tons escaped the market in a year.

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Whether or not China’s counterfeit business will be purged, someday, remains in the air.

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