Alibaba chairman Jack Ma has cancelled a speech he was scheduled to make at an event held by a global anti-counterfeiting body after the group suspended the Chinese company’s membership.

Ma was set to make the speech at the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) conference in Washington, but dropped the commitment on Tuesday amid a backlash from brands and an independent investigation into the group’s management.

“We believe the IACC’s suspension of the general membership category is a step in the wrong direction and regrettable,” said an Alibaba spokesperson in an online blog.

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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