Ahead of IPO, Alibaba targets counterfeit items

Company is reportedly sweeping its listings, finding counterfeit items and removing them from its e-commerce pages.

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E-commerce giant Alibaba, which recently filed for an initial public offering in the US, is taking aim at counterfeiters and pirates who sell products through its e-commerce sites.

Several retail experts have been monitoring China-based Alibaba's movements over the past several weeks and have discovered that the company is wiping products from its listings that have been found to be in violation of copyrights, Reuters is reporting, citing those experts. One company reported that it discovered a counterfeit version of its products on Alibaba, and, within days, the listing was removed. In February, Alibaba reported that it had removed over 100 million allegedly counterfeit products from its listings, according to Reuters.

Alibaba has acknowledged its issues with counterfeiting. The company in the past has been listed as a "notorious market" for intellectual property infringement by the Office of the US Trade Representative. In its IPO filing, Alibaba acknowledged that counterfeit products in its listings were troublesome to its future growth, adding that it could lead some customers to distrust the firm. Its recent efforts appear to be an attempt to quell those concerns.

Alibaba is set to make a splash on Wall Street. The company could become one of the biggest IPOs in history and officially establish its name next to major US e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay.

Alibaba declined to comment on the report.

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