Recently, a Chinese regulatory agency said that most of the goods sold on the Chinese website Alibaba are counterfeit. That means the products are not made by the company that is claimed to be the maker.
Alibaba is a website that connects buyers with sellers. The company’s chief, Jack Ma, says he has solved the dispute with Chinese officials.
China’s Alibaba Group has become a major Internet company in a short amount of time. Last year, the company raised $25 billion in its IPO, or initial public offering. The company offered stock shares to the public for the first time last September on the New York Stock Exchange.
But recently China’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce, SAIC, released a report that said the company has not done enough to stop the Internet sales of illegal goods.
Alibaba’s Executive Chairman, Jack Ma, said this was not true.
“We don’t want; we were misunderstood by the world that we’re not transparent. We don’t want; (we were) misunderstood by the world that Taobao is a platform for selling fake products. And we want this company, I have always said, not to represent China’s Internet, it represent the spirit of Internet of the whole world.”
The SAIC report said that Alibaba employees took bribes and permitted merchants to sell illegal wine, handbags and other goods without the required license. It also said an investigation showed that many of the samples on the Taobao retail website were not licensed products.
Alibaba runs Taobao. On January 27th, Taobao rejected the study’s findings. The company said the study was unfair.
The next day the SAIC released information about a July meeting between its representatives and Alibaba officials. In the meeting, the SAIC informed Alibaba that counterfeit goods were being sold through the website. The agency also told the company that it had violated marketing rules and had a poor consumer rating system.
Later, however, tensions between regulators and Alibaba appeared to ease. The SAIC and Taobao both removed the materials from their websites.
For many years now, Western companies have accused companies in China of stealing intellectual property and selling illegal products.
In recent years, the government has taken steps to deal with those concerns.
This week, Jack Ma spoke in Hong Kong. He said that the company will be open in its dealings with the legal action. He said the situation should give western observers a better understanding of Alibaba and China.
And that’s the Economics Report from VOA Learning English. I’m Mario Ritter.