Date
26 September 2017
Taobao vendors try to cash in on every available opportunity. A down-jacket worn by Alibaba chief Jack Ma last week has become the latest replica item on offer in the online store. Photo: China Securities Journal
Taobao vendors try to cash in on every available opportunity. A down-jacket worn by Alibaba chief Jack Ma last week has become the latest replica item on offer in the online store. Photo: China Securities Journal

‘No fake goods on Taobao’: Does anyone believe Ma’s claim?

Attending China’s first-ever World Internet Conference in Zhejiang province last week, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma asserted that the e-commerce giant’s Taobao mall doesn’t have any counterfeit goods.

“Those who say the platform has lot of counterfeit goods, they must have no online shopping experience on Taobao at all,” Ma said.

“How could our sales reach 6-7 billion yuan (US$1.14 billion) per day if most of the products are fake?” China’s richest man asked.

He also pointed out that buyers can tell if a product is fake just by looking at the price.

“You may be too greedy if you want to buy a Rolex with 25 yuan,” Ma said.

Fake-goods makers are actually afraid of selling their products on Taobao because the company can easily pin down such vendors and have them arrested, he said.

The remarks received wide play on social media, with many netizens ridiculing the claims.

Some people even commented that it is precisely because of fake goods that the e-commerce platform was able to generate 6 billion yuan sales per day.

Now, what is the real situation? The following cases tell us a thing or two.

Last Thursday, the China Securities Journal published a picture showing Ma in merry conversation with one of the journalists covering the World Internet Conference.

With a few hours, some Taobao merchants seized the opportunity to offer “the same” down-jacket that Ma was wearing. The product was being peddled for 599 yuan.

Another recent example was the sleek, high-collared Chinese tunics that leaders wore during a ceremonial event at the Beijing APEC summit.

If you want to dress like world leaders such as Barack Obama, Xi Jinping or Shinzo Abe, Taobao is the place to get the garment for 300 yuan to 1,000 yuan apiece, with dozens of suppliers offering the products.

Jack Ma seems to have underestimated the shrewd online merchants doing business on the Taobao platform. Or he may be just pretending not to notice.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

 

EJ Insight writer

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