Gucci Leaves Anti-Counterfeiting Group After Alibaba Addition

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Gucci is not happy with the recent membership of Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba in the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), and has quit the Washington, D.C.-based group. The label’s exit makes it the second one since Alibaba joined the group in April, after Michael Kors left the previous month, calling Alibaba "[their] most dangerous and damaging adversary."

Gucci joins Balenciaga and other Kering Group brands in a lawsuit involving Alibaba in the New York federal court. The labels allege that Alibaba knowingly encourages and profits off selling fakes on its online platforms, but Alibaba has countered the allegations as "wasteful litigation."

That Alibaba has joined IACC has reportedly incited some outrage, raising questions about the e-commerce company’s effectiveness in fighting the anti-counterfeit battle as it pushes for a global presence. The IACC has an extensive list of over 250 members, which include Chanel, Apple and Cisco Systems.

Gucci had informed the IACC of their intention to exit last Wednesday, and their name was no longer on the group’s website by Saturday. According to IACC vice-president Candice Li-Uzoigwe, Gucci was “not happy about Alibaba joining."

The IACC is not second-guessing its inclusion of Alibaba though. "The IACC stands by its decision and is committed to lean into the future and lead a coalition of the willing,” said IACC president Robert Barchiesi in a statement to The Business of Fashion. "Whether it's payment processors or online marketplaces, the choice is clear, they must be an integral part of the solution."

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