Cerian Foulkes, the former Intellectual Property Attaché at the British Embassy Beijing joined the webinar and delivered the opening remarks. Cerian emphasised that “IP protection has become a central concern for online retailers and partnerships between rights holders, industries and government authorities are of critical importance”. She also introduced that under the support of UK government, a landmark MoU between CBBC and Alibaba had been signed in 2014 which brought a number of benefits for British companies, including the dismantling of a network producing counterfeit engine lubricants and a pre-emptive blocking of infringing products from reaching consumers. Cerian stated, 

“Alibaba’s efforts in IPR Protection have led to significant successes for British industry in both online and offline collaboration with CBBC's partnership. Through the collaboration with Alibaba Group, CBBC has been a pioneer in improving online IP protection for UK business in recent years. The UK government will continue to support the sophisticated IP protection mechanism set up by Alibaba and CBBC under the recently launched Prosperity Fund UK-China Business Environment Programme.”

She also acknowledged that China’s IP protection system had been improving in the past few years and encouraged UK SMEs to utilise China’s legal and administrative system to mitigate IP risks if they would like to enter the Chinese market.

Yuan Yuan, Business Environment Director from CBBC also delivered a welcome speech in which she briefly introduced CBBC’s IP Team and its track record in supporting British companies with their IP enquiries and protection in China, such as the successful collaboration with Alibaba. Yuan also introduced the context of this series of SMEs online IP protection training webinars as part of the Prosperity Fund UK-China Business Environment Programme in which CBBC is one of the alliance partners that leads the IP Strand.

During the webinar, Alibaba’s Brand Cooperation and Global IP Enforcement team shared their insights on the Alibaba Group Ecosystem and IPR Protection Strategy, and introduced how Alibaba could provide support to SMEs. Alibaba also introduced their new IP projects “Consumer Reporting Platform” and “Block Chain Evidence Preservation Tool” which support rights owners to find high street counterfeit shops and to file litigation against infringing sellers.

Alibaba has also launched its online IP Protection Platform ("IPP") which rights owners could file complaints on once infringements are found on Alibaba. It also established Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance ("AACA") in 2017 which involves commitments and undertakings between Alibaba and brands to tackle IP challenges together in partnership.

For more information about the Prosperity Fund UK-China Business Environment Programme, please visit the official website: https://www.ukchina-bep.com/

For more information on protecting IPR in China, and forms of support available from CBBC, please contact:

Yuan Yuan (袁圆)
Director Business Environment 
China-Britain Business Council 
E: Yuan.Yuan@cbbc.org