HONG KONG - China's Alibaba Group Holding has sued two vendors it says sold fake Swarovski watches on its Taobao e-commerce platform, its first legal action against counterfeiters amid persistent allegations that fake goods are widely available on its sites.
The news of the lawsuit comes less than two weeks after the US blacklisted Taobao again, after four years off the list.
Alibaba's lawsuit claims 1.4 million yuan ($290,000) in images for contract and goodwill violations, the company said in a statement yesterday without naming the vendors.
It said it identified the counterfeiters after detecting a merchant selling fake Swarovski watches on Taobao. It then initiated a "test-buy purchase programme" to buy a watch, which was later confirmed by Swarovski to be counterfeit.
It raided one watch-seller on Aug 10, confiscating more than 125 fake Swarovski watches worth nearly 2 million yuan.