Alibaba removes 90 million fake goods ahead of IPO in US

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the Chinese e-commerce giant that kicked off a $25 billion mega initial public offering on NASDAQ this year, admitted it took down as many as 90 million counterfeit goods from its e-commerce platforms in order to smooth its IPO.

During the first nine months this year, Alibaba cleared up 90 million goods that may have breached intellectual property rights on its e-commerce sites, including Taobao and Tmall, Alibaba's chief risk officer Polo Shao said at a press conference in Hangzhou, China, on Tuesday, according to the Chinese website of South China Morning Post.

The company raised a record $25 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) on NASDAQ in September, while it has spent a total of $160.7 million from the beginning of 2013 through November this year to remove fake products and enhance consumer protection, according to Shao.

In December 2012, the US Trade Representative took Alibaba's subsidiary Taobao Markeplace off its "Notorious Markets" list, as the company was "significantly decreasing the sale of infringing products", earlier reports said.

In the first three months alone, the group has removed 6 million links that would direct consumers to fake goods on its e-commerce platforms, a Sina news report said on Tuesday. Alibaba also assisted Chinese regulators handle over 1,000 copyright infringement cases, among which 400 suspects were arrested and goods worth 600 million yuan ($96 million) were seized.

Despite Alibaba owning a talent pool of 2,000 people dealing with counterfeit goods and consumer protections on its e-commerce platforms, the manpower remains scarce to deal with such an immense counterfeit market.

The group on Tuesday revealed that it has adopted a leading "internet-based" big data pattern to deal with fake goods on its platforms. Equipped with huge sample libraries and database, the system is able to identify and track fake products, conduct complex algorithms, and spur the linkages between consumers, copyright owners, and the government departments, according to the Sina news report.