Enforcement Update in China: Policy Updates from Alibaba that Benefit Brand-owners
Alibaba announced some pretty important updates to its enforcement process in 2018.
Since it’s been in effective for over one year, we thought it would be helpful to see how exactly these changes are impacting (or helping) the Western brand owners.
In order for the legitimate brand owner to have a high success rate to tackle counterfeits on Alibaba, it is very important to obtain and maintain status as an accredited account. The updates this time are aimed to lesson burdens on the legitimate brand owner for its obtaining and maintaining of the accredited account status (the so-called “good faith account”).
You may ask why is this “accredited account status” so important? Well, it’s important if you want to get something (or anything) done through Alibaba. For example, once you’ve been awarded that status, Alibaba allows a faster processing of your complaints, and it becomes much easier to take steps to remove an infringer’s shop. It’s similar to the diamond club status with the airlines – if you have the diamond Status, your boarding process will be a lot faster (and more pleasant) than the common folks. Before the accredited account status, you are just an “average” consumer trying to get through the Delta customer service phone line when a bad snow storm is coming and you are trying to reschedule the flight – usually, the average hold time is over two hours. Once your account is associated with the “accredited” status, you become a diamond member; you call, and a real person picks up the phone on the second ring.
Some key updates that we find helpful include:
A party will automatically be deemed to hold an accredited account status as long as a certain threshold is met. Prior to the change, one had to jump through several hoops including signing a declaration with Alibaba and maintaining at least 100 successful takedown complaints. After the change, the status will be automatically awarded so long as a certain threshold is met (see below about this exact “threshold”).
Prior to the change, Alibaba would only consider some very limited data when evaluating an account; however, this change has broadened the scope. For example, Alibaba will now consider three-months worth of prior data of an account when preforming the evaluation.
Prior to the change, an accredited account would lose its status if more than 1.5% of its complaints were successfully refuted. This made it difficult to maintain the accredited account status sometimes because there are many “creative” reasons why an infringer may not really be an infringer. Alibaba has loosened this up from 1.5% to 5%.
It’s nice to see Alibaba is making strides and real changes!