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Alibaba's Jack Ma cancels speech at IACC conference

By Vivian Hendriksz

18 May 2016

Business |UPDATE

London - Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has cancelled an upcoming speech at the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) following the suspension of Alibaba's membership last week.

Ma was set to give a keynote speech at the spring conference on Thursday, but cancelled his attendance when the IACC suspended the General Membership Category following the exit of luxury brands such as Gucci, Michael Kors and Tiffany & Co., who left the IACC in protest of Alibaba's acceptance as a member. Other companies to be removed from IACC following the suspension of the category include The Real Real and Wish.com.

In response to the IACC's decision, Alibaba's head of the international corporate communications, Jennifer Kuperman said: "Alibaba remains firmly committed to the protection of intellectual property rights and combatting counterfeits. We believe the most effective way to solve the counterfeiting problem is through strong industry collaboration. We believe the IACC’s suspension of the general membership category is a step in the wrong direction and regrettable. It highlights a fundamental difference in how we want to solve this problem."

"Alibaba had chosen to join the IACC in order to work with more brands on data-driven anti-counterfeit initiatives, and to exchange best practices in intellectual property protection. We encourage the IACC and the entire industry to adapt to current trends, adopt a more open and collaborative approach...the most recent IACC decision will not impact our aggressive fight against counterfeits."

"We look forward to engaging with the IACC membership on IP enforcement issues on May 19th in Orlando, Florida," continued Kuperman. "Given the IACC’s desire for additional time to reflect upon the viability of its general membership category, Alibaba feels it best that Jack Ma postpone his appearance." Alibaba will remain present at the conference, as Michael Evans, president of the Chinese e-commerce corporation will attend in Ma's place.

Photo: Alibaba, Facebook