The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition has just published a letter from its board of directors announcing the suspension of its general membership category. This means Alibaba is no longer the member of the anti-counterfeit group — which works to halt the production of counterfeit copies in the fashion industry.
On 13 April, Alibaba had become the first Chinese internet retailer to join the group under a new membership category designed for intermediaries. But IACC members accused the Chinese e-commerce giant of profiting by allowing fake goods to be sold on its platforms.
Alibaba has then vowed to continue cooperating with global brands on stamping out fake products, despite being turfed out of the IACC just weeks after joining.
"We believe that Alibaba, as the world’s largest e-commerce platform, plays an important role in tackling and solving counterfeiting issues across the globe," the e-commerce juggernaut said in a statement to China National Radio.
It added that the backlash "will not affect the existing relationship nor the projects that both sides are working on together."
According to the IACC website, Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma is due to speak at its spring conference, due to run from 18 to 20 May.
Before its suspension from IACC, Alibaba announced a new measure to crack down on fake products on Taobao, its largest sales platform - it said it would "re-regulate" stores that sold luxury brand products by requiring them to provide specific proof, such as invoices and letters of authorisation from the brand, that the goods were legitimate.