It’s no secret Alibaba has made significant moves to clean up its global image since their 2014 IPO, but commander-in-chief Jack Ma has now said that removing counterfeit products is a matter that inextricably links Alibaba and the Chinese economy.

In an interview with state media outlet Xinhua, Ma said that while the effect of having counterfeits on the Alibaba marketplaces was limited, the company suffered from forgeries due to their dependence on the health of the Chinese economy.

Ma went as far as to claim that for every counterfeit product Alibaba sells, they stand to lose five customers, dismissing comments that they have benefitted from the wide network of black market items within its stores.

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com