Monday, December 26, 2016

In Defense of Alibaba

I have nothing but scorn for Alibaba, for it fails on all metrics as far s world trade goes.  But on this point, I must defend the outfit:
The world's top online retailer said on Thursday it was "very disappointed" by the decision to be restored to the list of "Notorious Markets", after the US Office of the Trade Representative cited a high level of alleged piracy and counterfeiting.
"We are very disappointed by the USTR's decision to include Taobao on its 'Notorious Markets' list, which ignores the real work Alibaba has done against counterfeits," Alibaba President Michael Evans said.
The objection to anyone selling fakes is absurd.  Who cares if some people want to make, and others want to buy, fake anything.  How is anyone else harmed?

1. Would people who buy fakes otherwise buy the real thing if the fakes were not available?  Of course not.  If you delusionally believe they would, then the response would be for those who would be taking a loss to also manufacture and sell fakes of their own products.  If you want sales, it is only right you should work for them.

2. Is anyone's reputation harmed by the fact fakes are on the market?  Of course not.  If a Louis Vuitton bag is falling apart, then it is clear it is not a Louis Vuitton.  If a Louis Vuitton bag is being knocked off, it is because of the fine reputation of Louis Vuitton.  If someone actually believes he can pay $30 for a fake $20,000 Louis Vuitton bag, and return it for a refund or replacement to a Louis Vuitton dealer when it falls apt in a year, then that person needs that experience.

Fakes take time, money and skill to get out onto the market.  The dealers in fakes gain just compensation for their efforts.  No one is harmed.  the only people harmed are the taxpayers who must foot the bill in taxes for some congressman's niece to have the $125,000 a year job fighting a problem that does not exist, the "problem" of fake products.

And it is rich that the USA pot should be calling any kettle black.  The USA offers the world fake money, fake war cause, fake news, fake crisis, fake food, fake leaders, fake religions... ad nauseum.  Maybe USA just does not like competition, and Alibaba is an existential threat.

Let Alibaba be the worlds source for fakes.  It should be good for something.  Indeed, the whole thing as an enterprise is a fake.

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