The handbags-at-dawn legal battle between Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and luxury brands including Gucci escalated today. Yves Saint Laurent, alongside Gucci and other brands owned by Kering, have asked a US judge to halt mediation with Alibaba over the fake goods case because it would be “futile”. In May, Kering sued Alibaba, contending it had knowingly made it possible for counterfeiters to sell their products online.
At the time, Alibaba said: “We believe this complaint has no basis and we will fight it vigorously.”
But the company’s founder, Chinese tycoon Jack Ma, now claims that there is no chance of settling the dispute.
The luxury brands told the court they were “greatly troubled” by Ma’s comment.
Alibaba said Ma had made the comments prior to Kering agreeing to its proposal to mediate.
Separately, Alibaba today agreed to extend its partnership with Royal Mail allowing Chinese exports to supply goods to the UK within two weeks.
Royal Mail already has a shop front on Alibaba’s Tmall Global marketplace.
By Joanna Bourke Courtesy Evening Standard