Jack Ma: Counterfeit Sellers Should Be Jailed for 7 Days

By Bridget O'Donnell, March 10, 2017

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Jack Ma recently slammed sellers of fake goods, suggesting they should be jailed for seven days as punishment.

Calling on the delegates of the Two Sessions, the Alibaba founder criticized Chinese counterfeit merchants on Weibo and compared the country's fake goods problem with drunk driving. China only first began criminalizing drunk driving in 2011, when a major crackdown stipulated that driving under the influence could be charged as a criminal offense, regardless of the outcome. Prior to the crackdown, driving under the influence was essentially legal as long as you didn't get into an accident.

Like drunk drivers, Ma argued that counterfeit merchants would continue to sell if there were no criminal punishment systems in place.

READ MORE: Louis Vuitton Sues Counterfeit Sellers on Taobao

To fight the prolifteration of fake goods, Ma proposed a system that would land sellers of fake goods in jail:

"A vast majority of counterfeiters bear almost no legal responsibility [and] it is difficult to see how fake sellers can play clean... 

"If counterfeit sellers were detained for seven days... then I think today China's intellectual property protection, food and drug safety [and] future innovation capacity will change...

"If you change the standard of punishment, the results of selling fakes will certainly be quite different."

China has begun taking intellectual property rights more seriously. Last December, basketball legend Michael Jordan won the rights to his Chinese name in a trademark case. 

A Chinese company called "Qiaodan" featured a logo remarkably similar to the Jumpman logo used by Nike to promote Air Jordans

The ruling was said to be landmark decision and could set a major precedent for foreign firms considering pursuing similar copyright infringement cases in China.

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