Alibaba founder Jack Ma has for the first time called directly on China’s government to ramp up efforts to erase counterfeiting, blaming modest penalties and lax laws for the scourge of fakes. The appeal to delegates at this week’s National People’s Congress marks an escalation by Ma, one of China’s richest men, and a reversal from his earlier comments that counterfeits are often better quality than the real thing, according to the Financial Times. It also follows a renewed crusade against fakes that followed the return of Alibaba’s ecommerce platform Taobao to the US blacklist of “notorious markets” for peddling counterfeit goods. In an open letter to delegates of the NPC and The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference posted on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, Ma called for counterfeits to be tackled in the same way as drunk driving.
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