Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, answers customers' calls at its customer service department in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo by Niu Jing / For China Daily]
A report released by Alibaba said Thursday that 129 people were given criminal punishments for selling fake goods online after reports to law enforcement departments last year.
The e-commerce giant provided 5,436 clues on instances where online shoppers purchased counterfeits in 2017. The authorities received 1,910 of them after reviews, of which 63 were identified as criminal cases, according to the report.
So far, 129 people have received criminal punishments, including 104 who were given suspended penalties, it said.
Zheng Junfang, Alibaba's chief platform governance officer, said such light punishment is far from enough.
“It’s better to not only penalize those who produce or sell counterfeits, but also ask them to compensate,” she added.
Ye Zhifei, chief of the company’s intellectual property protection center, agreed. He used a man who was detained several times for selling counterfeits as an example, saying such offenders should be heavily punished.
The man, surnamed Shi, was arrested for allegedly producing fake flavorings last year and had been detained twice before for the same reason in 2006 and 2011.
“But he was on bail after the previous two detentions,” Ye said, adding that this showed lenient punishment, including detention, could not threaten them.
To solve the problem thoroughly, the Ministry of Public Security launched a campaign against those harming IP rights in December, ordering police officers not only to detain those selling counterfeits, but also to seek and fight people who produced the items or organized counterfeit activity.