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Alibaba’s Jack Ma: Fakes are better than originals

Jack Ma, chairman of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, said many Chinese-made fake goods are now of better quality and cheaper than real ones.

Alibaba has come under fire in recent years for the ease at which knock-off goods are available to consumers on its online Taobao marketplace.

“The problem is that the fake products today, they make better quality, better price than the real product, than the real names,” he said in a speech at Alibaba’s investor’s day in Hangzhou on Tuesday.

“It’s not the fake products that destroy them, it’s the new business models.”

Ma pointed out that in some cases the same factories that produce goods for top brands also make replicas using the “exact raw materials but they do not use the names”.

Still, the Chinese ecommerce giant wants to work with brands to protect their intellectual property. “We have to stop the fake products,” Ma said.

He added that there are 2,000 staff combatting fake products, but he admitted that they cannot solve the issue completely, but has ability to do better.

Last month, the company was kicked out of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, a global nonprofit that fights fakes.

Alibaba handles more ecommerce than Amazon and eBay combined. It expects to reach US$423 million online shoppers around the world this year, mostly through its Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace sites. It aims to have US$2 billion consumers by 2036 and double gross merchandise volume to 6 trillion yuan ($911 billion) by fiscal 2020.

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