Alibaba has kick-started a fresh drive to stamp out fake goods on its sites by urging retailers and brands to back its anti-piracy campaign.
The Chinese etail titan has been dogged by accusations that its websites, including Alibaba.com and Tmall.com, are plagued with counterfeit products.
The business was even ejected from a US-based anti-counterfeiting alliance earlier this year, just weeks after joining.
But Alibaba has unveiled plans to crack down on sellers of copy-cat products and repair the damage caused to its reputation.
The retail giant has launched a new online system to help track and remove fake goods, and called for legitimate sellers of branded goods using its ecommerce platforms – including the likes of Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and New Look – to get behind the scheme.
The “IP Joint-Force System” is designed to streamline IP-related communications between brands and Alibaba, the business said, making it easier to remove suspected counterfeit listings.
Speaking at Alibaba’s conference on intellectual property protection in Hangzhou, the etailer’s chief platform governance officer Jessie Zheng said: “In the face of such a complex problem we can’t be complaining about each other, or criticising each other. We have to have everybody involved and work together to do it.”
She added: “In this battle it’s you and me. It can’t be you doing the work and me watching, or me doing the work and you talking. Our only choice is to join forces.”
It comes months after Alibaba was left embarrassed in its fight against fake goods when it was forced out of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition.
Members of the Washington-based group including Michael Kors and French group Kerin’s Gucci brand revolted against Alibaba’s inclusion.
Despite its troubles in stamping out fake goods, Alibaba revealed in May that its full-year profits almost tripled to 71.28bn yuan (£7.5bn) in the 12 months to March 31, after total sales advanced 33% to 101.1bn yuan (£10.7bn).
The etail powerhouse shrugged off criticism around counterfeits to deliver particularly strong growth in its fourth quarter, when sales climbed 39% to 24.1bn yuan (£2.5bn).