China’s biggest retailer, Alibaba, recently announced that it’s taking legal action against counterfeiters for the first time.

This action is in response to US authorities’ placing of Alibaba on their list of “notorious markets” due to Alibaba’s failure to curb the sale of counterfeit goods on its online platform, Taobao. US authorities claimed that Taobao was being used to sell a large amount of counterfeit products. Indeed, brand owners may already be familiar with Taobao for this very reason.

Alibaba filed a lawsuit against two unnamed vendors, claiming just over £160,000 in damages, and confirmed that it would continue to crack down on counterfeiters.

This move is likely to be welcomed by brand owners, many of whom have been fighting counterfeiters on these sites for a number of years.

In a related move, eBay recently announced the launch of its new programme aimed at boosting consumer confidence in higher-end transactions. eBay Authenticate allows sellers and buyers to opt into the service, for a fee, on specified types of items. Once the item has sold, it will be reviewed by a professional authenticator before being shipped to the buyer.

Full details of this service are not yet available and it will be interesting to see how popular this service proves to be.