Gucci Reluctant to Partner with Alibaba and due to Counterfeit Concerns

Gucci expressed reluctance on the topic of cooperating with Chinese e-commerce platforms led by Alibaba and due to concerns of counterfeiting scandals, according to Financial Times.

“Frankly speaking, on most of the platforms there’s a lot of counterfeiting, and I don’t want to certify counterfeiting, because I belong to these platforms,” Marco Bizzarri said on Oct. 16 at a Business of Fashion conference in Shanghai.

Alibaba has established cooperation with many luxury brands. Companies like Burberry, Hugo Boss and Tiffany have all joined TMall, Alibaba‘s e-commerce site. has also partnered with luxury brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen.

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But both platforms have been involved in counterfeiting cases more than once. Mr. Lin’s wife failed to get her money back in October, when she found out the Italian luxury slippers she bought on Taobao, Alibaba‘s online shopping platform, were fake, according to the Paper. Dawei Huang and the other two owners of a store on JD.HK,‘s global shopping site, were found guilty by the Yubei District Court of Chongqing in June of selling commodities bearing counterfeit registered trademarks such as Coach, Michael Kors, and Giorgio Armani.

“Regardless of whether it is the traditional commerce or the new e-commerce, trust is the foundation of market economy. Merchants must stick to integrity management,” Yinjiang Chen, law expert on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers, told the Legal Daily.

Strong rebound in China is driving the global personal luxury goods market. The country’s consumption of luxury products grew by 20 percent last year and reached a high of 142 billion yuan ($20.5 billion). E-commerce contributed 9 percent, a 3 percent growth from 2015, according to the 2017 China Luxury Report by Bain, a global management company.

Luxury market 2017
2017 China Luxury Report by Bain

The fast development of China’s e-commerce fuels that growth as well. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, e-commerce trade volumes hit 29200 billion yuan ($4208 billion) in 2017, with an annual growth of 30 percent. The online retail sales of physical commodities accounted for 15 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods, a 4 percent rise since 2015.

“E-commerce has been described as the ‘next China’ for luxury in terms of opportunity,” said Lucie Greene, JWT Intelligence’s worldwide director in Bain’s Luxury Report 2018.