A Small Table Maker Takes On Alibaba’s Flood of Fakes 

From his desk in a downtown workshop, Greg Hankerson is at war with a Chinese company half a world away.Mr. Hankerson and his wife, Sim, own Vintage Industrial, which designs and makes antique-style tables, cabinets and other furniture. The 25-employee start-up produces everything at its Phoenix factory, much of it by hand.But that hasn’t protected Mr. Hankerson from counterfeiters, who peddle cheap copies of his creations on internet marketplaces run by Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company. He can find hundreds of suspected counterfeits of his furniture on Alibaba’s various sites, including Taobao, a free-for-all shopping platform on which the Chinese hawk items as varied as T-shirts and televisions.One recent day, Mr. Hankerson fired up his web browser to scan for counterfeits. Several Taobao shops sell copies of various Vintage Industrial tables, including one with A-shaped legs and another with a glass top and propeller-like base, as well as cabinets and a metal locker.“It just keeps going and going and going,” Mr. Hankerson, 45, said. “It’s like trying to pick weeds on a 70-acre farm.”

continue https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/business/alibaba-fake-merchandise-e-commerce.html

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