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Saturday, May 14, 2016
Anti-Counterfeit Group Suspends Alibaba Membership

The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), a nonprofit global organization that fights counterfeit products and piracy, suspended the membership of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., one month after the Chinese Internet giant joined.

IACC created a new membership category (General Membership category) in April that allowed Alibaba to join. However, according to IACC's board of directors and following concerns raised by some of the organizations's members, IACC President Bob Barchiesi recommended to suspend the recently announced General Membership category "to allow further discussion and consideration."

This resulted to the suspension of the memberships of Alibaba, and The RealReal at this time.

Alibaba is trying to shed its image as a haven for cheap brand knockoffs.

The IACC board said conflicts of interest involving Barchiesi were not communicated to directors, due to a "weakness in our corporate governance procedures." As a result of concerns raised by members.

Earlier Friday, the Associated Press reported that Barchiesi held Alibaba stock, had close ties to a company executive and had used family members to help run the coalition.

The IACC board said Barchiesi disclosed his financial transactions and relationships, however the board was not told about "certain aspects" of his "disclosed conflict." The group said it’s hiring an independent firm to review its corporate governance and implement new measures, according to the letter.

Alibaba spokeswoman Jennifer Kuperman said the company will continue to work with the group to fight counterfeits whether it is a member or not, and will expedite efforts to remove products identified as fake.

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