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Amazon disrupts counterfeit operations in China

Amazon disrupts counterfeit operations in China
Law enforcement raid of counterfeit car accessory factory (Photo: Business Wire).

Amazon has successfully collaborated with Chinese law enforcement to seize more than 240,000 counterfeit items.

The e-tail giant’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) identified and disrupted three counterfeiting operations in China in cooperation with local Public Security Bureaus (PSB) in the Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces. The items were imitations of luxury, sports, and automotive brands.

The seizure prevented the more than 240,000 fake products from reaching Amazon customers or being sold elsewhere in the supply chain. Information and intelligence provided by Amazon’s CCU to local authorities, including the locations of warehouses and manufacturing facilities, led to the identification and disruption of the counterfeit operations and their upstream suppliers.

Upon searching the facilities, Chinese law enforcement seized more than 130,000 counterfeit car accessories and fake brand labels that infringed on brands’ intellectual property, including BMW, Porsche, and General Motors; nearly 80,000 counterfeit luxury products; and more than 30,000 pieces of counterfeit clothing and fake brand labels that infringed on intellectual property of companies including Hugo Boss, Puma and Under Armour.

The main suspects have been detained by local law enforcement for further investigation, and Amazon says any infringing listings connected to these cases have been eliminated.

These seizures of counterfeit goods based on intelligence from Amazon follow similar actions by law enforcement in England and the U.S. Amazon has also cooperated with local law enforcement in China on operations involving criminals who illegally purchased government-issued personal identities and business licenses in an attempt to register fraudulent Amazon seller accounts. As a result, 84 individuals were detained.

During 2021, Amazon spent more than $900 million and had more than 12,000 people—including machine learning scientists, software developers, and investigators—dedicated to protecting customers, brands, selling partners, and their store from counterfeit, fraud, and other forms of abuse.

[Read more: Amazon spent over $900 million to stop brand fraud in 2021]

Amazon also offers a variety of other tools and services to help detect and prevent fraud. These include Amazon Transparency, a serialization service that protects individual product units, which the company says enabled the protection of more than 500 million product units. Other solutions include Project Zero, which provides automated protections that continuously scan Amazon’s online stores using ML; and Brand Registry, a free service that provides third-party sellers with tools that manage and protect their brand and IP rights in Amazon stores.

“There is no place for fraud on Amazon,” said Dharmesh Mehta, VP of Amazon’s Worldwide Selling Partner Services. “The production and sale of counterfeit goods pose serious harm to the intellectual property rights of the brands involved, as well as to the legitimate interests of honest sellers—and the customers who place their trust in our stores. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we will not stop until we drive counterfeits to zero, and we will continue to invest and innovate until we get there.”

“Our efforts to identify and dismantle counterfeit organizations are working,” said Kebharu Smith, associate general counsel and director of the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit. “We appreciate law enforcement acting on our referrals and thoroughly pursuing these cases. These outcomes protect Amazon customers, disrupt the counterfeit supply chain, and halt their illicit proceeds.”

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