Tue, May 26, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Alibaba challenges fakes by fostering local brands

FINDING THEIR FEET:Alibaba spokeswoman Crystal Liu said the company has aided manufacturers in online business, quality control, marketing and sales

Reuters, PUTIAN, China

For most, the hope is that Alibaba can help retool local industry in the face of rising costs and shrinking overseas orders.

“They are all looking for a model that can help them upgrade their local manufacturing,” Zhang said.

Song sees the Alibaba scheme as an economic lifeline, and said the future of his Siweiqi (思威琪) brand canvas shoes, which resemble Converse All-Stars, depends on continued support with sales promotions and exposure.

“What we’ve seen so far is just a signal,” he said.

A sales bump is one thing, but building a successful brand is quite another, said Shaun Rein, managing director at China Market Research Group in Shanghai.

“It is kind of unlikely to be successful, because it is not so easy just to create a brand out of nowhere,” he said.

“For Alibaba, the key is to make a show that they are trying to crack down on fakes,” he said, adding that the company takes a cut on all sales — fake or legitimate.

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