Are China’s counterfeit goods getting better than the original products? Jack Ma the founder of Alibaba seems to think so.
He said at an investors meeting that the China-made counterfeits have steadily surpassed the genuine articles, complicating efforts to root out fakes from the brand products that are sold via the online shopping service.
Generally, global brands lean heavily on China and other manufacturing bases that provide a lower production cost, but many of them did not account for the factories in China which overtime got more savvy and now also makes use of the internet, inclusive of the Alibaba platforms, to sell products directly to consumers.
Jack Ma speaking in Hangzhou, China to the company’s investor conference on Tuesday said;
“The problem is that the fake products today, they make better quality, better prices than the real products, the real names, it’s not the fake products that destroy them, it’s the new business models.”
He suggested that the perpetrators are; “The exact factories, the exact raw materials, but they do not use their names.” He still reiterated however that Alibaba remained the best in the world at fighting the sale of counterfeits.
As glaringly honest as Jack Ma’s statement may appear to consumers, they are not likely to be welcomed by the people who stay fighting the battle against counterfeit products. The director of China’s E-Commerce Research Center in Hangzhou has already voiced his displeasure of the statements;
“It’s inappropriate for a person of Jack Ma’s status to say something like this, for some individual cases what he’s saying might be true, but it’s wrong to generalize the phenomenon.”
Mark Tanner, managing director of the China Skinny, a research firm in Shanghai also pointed out various triggers that could help Alibaba identify fake and counterfeit products, more so than they are doing right now. He mentioned; price variances, reviews, and selling patterns as some of them.
If the counterfeit goods are getting better than the original products, the consumer would soon enough be unable to tell the difference and sound out alarms to that end.
The battle must therefore be fought on the front of the online markets, the big question is who consumers will be rooting for, considering this ‘better than the original, counterfeit goods’ are gentler on their pockets.