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How Alibaba won _ and lost _ a friend in Washington

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Damion Gutierrez
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Alibaba's relationship with an anti-counterfeiting lobby coalition known as the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition is a tale of how one of China's corporate giants won and ultimately lost a friend in Washington, using legal methods long deployed by corporate America: money and friendship.

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

SHANGHAI AP — In 2011, a respected anti-counterfeiting coalition in Washington escalated its fight against the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, saying that its websites served as a 24-hour market "for counterfeiters and pirates" and should be blacklisted.

A month after it became the first e-commerce company to join the IACC, Alibaba got kicked out.

That, critics say, would benefit the multibillion-dollar counterfeiting industry, which costs U.S. companies money, can imperil consumers' safety and feeds an underground money-laundering industry.

Alibaba is at the forefront of China's rise on the global stage, and the anxiety and suspicion that have greeted the company abroad are, to some extent, anxiety and suspicion about China itself.

The U.S. Trade Representative placed Taobao on a blacklist in 2008.

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Damion Gutierrez
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