According to an article that the Chinese Edition of Deutsche Welle carried, many German companies have complained about the increase in the number of counterfeit products made in China and sold through Chinese E-Commerce giant Alibaba. The article said that VDMA, an association of German companies in the engineering industry, conducted a survey which found that 28 percent of German equipment manufacturing companies, including Siemens and SKF, the ball and roller bearing manufacturer, were aware that their products had been counterfeited and sold through the e-commerce Alibaba platform. One manufacturer commented that “Alibaba is famous for providing a large number of fake products!” The article stated that the counterfeiting activities range from trade name infringement to unsafe fake spare parts and equipment, especially in regard to automotive products. One VDMA lawyer told Deutsche Welle that China is the major source of fake products but it has made progress in dealing with counterfeiting issues. However there has been little development on copyright protection issues. According to the article, Alibaba has initiated efforts to deal with the counterfeiting issues. In 2016, with assistance from Alibaba, Siemens branch in China successfully located 150,000 fake sockets and remote controls which were worth several million euros.
Source: Deutsche Welle, March 18, 2017