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Alibaba Takes e-Commerce Industry Lead to Block Sale of Airbag Components

The ban has already resulted in the removal of 22,000 online listings from more than 700 vendors.

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Alibaba announced it has banned listings of car airbag components – sometimes referred to as SRS-related equipment – on two of its cross-border e-commerce platforms.

The ban has already resulted in the removal of 22,000 online listings from more than 700 vendors. To prevent future listings, Alibaba’s platform algorithms also began intercepting pre-listings and blocking them in real time.

Alibaba has banned sales of actual airbags on its platforms since 2014 because of the potential for significant safety-related issues. Alibaba said it extended its ban to airbag component parts for the same reason, as well as to halt potential fakes. These actions addressed concerns raised by the Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council (A2C2), which responded positively to the move.

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“We are pleased to see Alibaba take these important steps to help protect the integrity of online market places, especially for airbags and select SRS-related equipment,” said Andy Forsythe, president of A2C2. “We look forward to continuing to work with Alibaba and other online marketplaces to protect consumers from counterfeit auto parts.”

As with other intellectual property enforcement actions, Alibaba said their effectiveness increases when it works together with brands, rights-holders and industry groups.

“Effective collaboration among all stakeholders is essential,” said Matthew Bassiur, head of global intellectual property enforcement at Alibaba. “We are all part of the solution.”

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Already active in IP protection, Alibaba has stepped things up this year, taking a multi-pronged approach to rooting out fakes and bad actors, both online and offline.

In August, it introduced a more-streamlined process for rights-holders to make takedown requests. A month earlier, it met with IP-enforcement companies that work on behalf of rights-holders to protect their IP, sharing experiences and best practices. And Alibaba also formed the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance with 30 international and Chinese brands at the start of the year, aiming to enhance communication and transparency between rights-holders, e-commerce platforms and law enforcement.

Alibaba has cooperated with law enforcement offline, too, using data to not just remove fake listings but track the products back to their source and shut the production facilities down. And it has taken to civil courts, seeking significant financial damages to discourage bad actors from recidivism and send a signal to other would-be sellers of fake goods.

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