Alibaba CEO's remarks "appalling" says Comité Colbert’s President

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Nicola Mira
today Jun 21, 2016
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Guillaume de Seynes, General Manager of Hermès and President of the Comité Colbert (the committee for the promotion of culture and luxury, comprising 81 French labels) has branded the remarks made by the CEO of Chinese website Alibaba, according to whom counterfeit products are of "a better quality" than the originals, as "appalling".

Guillaume de Seynes - Maria Ziegelbock

Last week Jack Ma, the e-commerce giant's founder and boss, stated that "the problem is that counterfeit products these days are of a better quality and are cheaper than real products by recognised brands."

"It is appalling, of course I do not agree at all," reacted on Tuesday on French TV channel BFM Business Guillaume de Seynes, General Manager of Hermès, who was elected on 10th June as President of the Comité Colbert.

"Indeed, this remark amounts to an attack on intellectual property rights," he added.

Guillaume de Seynes underlined that "one of the preoccupations we have about a sizeable number of digital platforms, besides Alibaba, (is) the lack of control on what they display" for sale. He also reminded that "counterfeiting is a crime."

"Fighting (counterfeiting) is tough, we are fighting collectively and (also through) each of our brands, we continue to spend major sums, it is a huge threat because ours are creative labels, and if you say creativity you are also talking about the rights on one's own creativity," summarised Guillaume de Seynes.

The Comité Colbert groups together 81 French luxury labels, generating a total revenue of €42 billion and employing 180,000 people in France, "51,000 of whom directly."

Last Thursday, the association of manufacturers Unifab, representing several French companies active in fighting counterfeiting, had "firmly condemned" Jack Ma's remarks.

According to the association, such statements "go against any form of effective cooperation, since they are deceptive and even slanderous."

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