Alibaba and Kering Agree to Cooperate on Fighting Fakes


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Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, speaking to students and young entrepreneurs in Nairobi, Kenya. His company has tried to combat the perception that its platform is awash with fakes.

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Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

SHANGHAI — Alibaba has been battling the perception that it is a marketplace for fakes for years. On Thursday, it made some headway, resolving a dispute with the luxury goods giant Kering.

The companies said they had resolved their differences, and Kering, which owns brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent, said it would withdraw a 2015 lawsuit charging that counterfeit goods had been sold from the Chinese e-commerce giant’s website.

They said in a statement that they would establish a task force to share information and work with law enforcement to protect Kering’s brands. The companies will also make use of Alibaba’s technology to seek out fakes.

The resolution is a victory for Alibaba, which has been on a charm offensive outside China. The company’s founder, Jack Ma, hosted a conference in Detroit this year as part of efforts to enlist more American vendors for its platforms. Mr. Ma has also met with President Trump.

Alibaba has long faced accusations that its sales platforms harbor vendors selling fakes, and it has worked hard to push against that depiction. The resolution of the suit with Kering is likely to be just one part of a broader effort by the company to remove itself from the list of “notorious markets” for counterfeit goods compiled by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

The company had itself removed from the list four years ago, but was then added back last year. Kering sued Alibaba and its financial arm, Ant Financial, in 2015 over the prevalence of counterfeit goods on its sites. It also filed a short-lived lawsuit against Alibaba in 2014.

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