Alibaba, Microsoft agree to crack down on counterfeit software

Alibaba Group will strengthen its anti-counterfeit measures to protect the intellectual property rights of Microsoft as part of a new memorandum of understanding.

Alibaba Group and Microsoft have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance the security of Microsoft's intellectual property rights on two of Alibaba's e-commerce platforms, Taobao marketplace and Tmall.com.

As part of the MOU, Alibaba will strengthen anti-counterfeit measures on the two sites, such as by removing product lists suspected of offering counterfeit or unlicensed Microsoft products.

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Alibaba Group and its associated companies, including Alipay, will also cooperate with relevant parties to provide information to consumers who mistakenly buy unauthorised software to receive compensation from sellers according to relevant laws.

At the same time, both companies will collaborate to raise awareness and educate consumers about counterfeit and unlicensed software and the threats it can pose to their information security, privacy, and personal data. This will be executed through various online channels, such as Alibaba Group's e-commerce platforms and online payment tools.

Tim Cranton, Microsoft's associate general counsel and Greater China region's chief legal counsel, said the aim of the MOU is to promote information security for consumers and businesses, protect intellectual property rights, and build a safer online environment.

"Microsoft is committed to protecting customers from downloading or purchasing non-genuine software that expose users to spyware, malware, and viruses that can lead to computer crashes and network system failures, loss of personal data, and sensitive business information leaks," he said.

"Not only will users' information security be protected, but legitimate businesses and innovators in China will also benefit from a safer and more robust e-commerce marketplace with safeguards to protect intellectual property rights."

Microsoft's cooperation with Alibaba Group dates back to April 2007, when Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding with AliSoftware as the two parties joined hands in providing information service for small and medium-sized businesses.

"Alibaba Group takes the issue of IPR infringement very seriously, and we are constantly working with partners and stakeholders to enhance IPR protection on our platforms in order to tackle the problem of counterfeiting effectively," said Ni Liang, Alibaba Group's senior director of security operations.

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