Alibaba has appointed a former Apple investigator to head up their anti-counterfeit operation, as the company ramps up efforts to pull fakes from their popular platforms.

Mathew Bassiur, who is leaving his role as Deputy Chief Security Officer at Pfizer, will become Alibaba’s Head of Global Intellectual Property enforcement as of January.

Prior to his time at Pfizer Mr. Bassiur was a senior director at Apple for two years, serving as a counsel for intellectual property rights enforcement.  He also spent time teaching IP law at Renmin University in Beijing.

“Matthew’s appointment is the latest step in Alibaba Group’s comprehensive and industry-leading efforts to fight counterfeits,” said Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma in a statement. “We will continue to be relentless.”

This month Alibaba avoided being named on the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) blacklist for counterfeit goods, though the government body did note that they were “increasingly concerned” about the ongoing status of Alibaba’s enforcement programs. has been off the list since 2011, while the company’s retail-focussed platform was removed in 2012.

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

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