Jack Ma has described Chinese-made counterfeit goods as better than the genuine article, complicating the effort to root out fakes on the country’s largest online shopping services.
The founder and chairman of Chinese online empire Alibaba, said factory bosses were now using the internet to sell directly to consumers, giving them more choice over their purchases.
“The problem is that the fake products today, they make better quality, better prices than the real products, the real names.”
“It’s not the fake products that destroy them, it’s the new business models,” Mr Ma said in a speech in Hangzhou, China.
Mr Ma, who is one of China’s richest men, appeared to defend the actions by Chinese factory bosses, saying: “The exact factories, the exact raw materials, but they do not use their names.”
Alibaba has been criticised in the past for profiting from the sale of fake goods.
The company handles more transactions than Amazon and eBay combined and expects to reach 423million online shoppers around the world this year.
“We have to protect [intellectual property], we have to do everything to stop the fake products, but OEMs are making better products at a better price,” he added, referring to original equipment manufacturers that typically make products for branded sellers.