(BUSINESS WIRE)– Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) today announced the appointment of Matthew Bassiur as Vice President, Head of Global Intellectual Property Enforcement, effective January 2016.
In this new role, Mr. Bassiur will lead a team that works with international brands and retail partners, industry associations, government regulators, law enforcement and other organizations to advance Alibaba Group’s anti-counterfeiting and IP rights protection efforts. He will report to Michael Evans, President of Alibaba Group.
“Matthew’s appointment is the latest step in Alibaba Group’s comprehensive and industry-leading efforts to fight counterfeits,” said Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group. “Counterfeiting is a problem that challenges all forms of distribution, whether in e-commerce or offline retail. We will continue to be relentless in our long-term commitment to protect both consumers and intellectual property rights owners, and we call on all companies in our industry to join our fight against bad actors.”
Mr. Bassiur joins Alibaba Group from Pfizer Inc., where he served as the Vice President and Deputy Chief Security Officer. He oversaw Pfizer’s anti-counterfeiting operations, large-scale investigations into criminal activity, physical security and crisis management for North, Central and South America. Prior to Pfizer, he was Senior Director, Americas Region, and Counsel for IPR Enforcement at Apple, where his responsibilities included building and overseeing an investigative program into complex thefts, frauds, leaks, threats and cyber-related crimes, as well as developing and implementing Apple’s civil, criminal, and administrative anti-counterfeiting program.
Prior to joining Apple, Mr. Bassiur was a federal prosecutor in the Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), where he prosecuted large-scale, multi-jurisdictional IP crimes and coordinated domestic and international IP enforcement training and outreach. During his tenure with the DOJ, Mr. Bassiur also served as the Intellectual Property Liaison to Industry for his section.
From 1998 to 2006, as an assistant district attorney in the Trial Division under Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, Mr. Bassiur specialized in investigations and prosecution of New York’s trademark counterfeiting industry and Asian organized crime.
Mr. Bassiur was a United States Fulbright Scholar and, under the Fulbright Specialist Program, taught Intellectual Property law at Renmin University in Beijing, China. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia, School of Law in 1998 and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. In 2007, he was the recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Award for Distinguished Service as a Federal Government Official for his work in the field of IP investigations, prosecutions, education and outreach.
“Matthew makes a great addition to the Alibaba team,” said Michael Evans. “His expertise in IP rights protection, policy creation and enforcement, as well as his deep familiarity with China, will complement our dedicated IPR enforcement team in China and help us to continue to globalize as a company, working with our brand, industry and government partners worldwide.”
Alibaba Group leads the industry in the fight against counterfeiting and protecting intellectual property rights. Alibaba’s success is dependent on consumers having a positive shopping experience on its platforms. In the latest quarter ended September 30, 2015, Alibaba reported 386 million annual active shoppers on its China retail marketplace platforms, an increase of 19 million from the prior quarter. The company employs a broad range of strong measures to maintain the integrity of its marketplaces, including consumer protection funds and strict policies against illegitimate listings and poor quality merchants, ensuring that consumers continue to have a peace of mind when they shop on Alibaba’s platforms.
In the area of brand protection, Alibaba collaborates with brands and industry associations to streamline and expedite IP complaints and takedown procedures, including its Good-Faith Takedown Program with 1,800 IP rights holders that participate with close cooperation from Alibaba.
Taking the fight to the root cause of counterfeits, Alibaba has been at the forefront through innovative and sophisticated programs and assistance of enforcement actions that are first of their kind in the e-commerce industry. These include:
- Unique Product ID Code: Under a program called Blue Star, Alibaba works with manufacturers to print unique identifiers in the form of QR codes on products in order to enable the authentication and tracking of billions of products from cosmetics to fast-moving consumables to food items sold on Tmall and Taobao Marketplace. Consumers can scan the code using their mobile Taobao or Tmall shopping app to authenticate and verify the source of products and manufacturers. Manufacturers can track products sold through various distribution channels by tapping into product and location data on Alibaba’s cloud-based tracking system. For more information about the Blue Star program, see http://www2.alizila.com/alibaba-turning-lowly-qr-code-fakes-fighter.
- Quality Manufacturing Program: Alibaba works with traditional OEM manufacturers in China to transform their operations into higher value-add manufacturing with original designs and brand building. The vision of the program is to transform “made-in-China” into “created-in-China.” These high quality products, such as apparel, shoes, bags, baby products, household furniture and furnishings are sold in a special channel, https://q.taobao.com, on Taobao Marketplace.
- Assisting Law Enforcement: During 2015, Alibaba Group assisted law enforcement in counterfeit crack-down efforts that resulted in the arrest of over 200 criminal groups and seizure of over 300 warehouses and factories for counterfeit goods. (Original Source)
Shares of Alibaba Group closed last Friday at $82.65, down $0.91 or -1.09%. BABA has a 1-year high of $110.98 and a 1-year low of $57.20. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $81.99 and its 200-day moving average is $76.62.
On the ratings front, Alibaba has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on December 14, RBC analyst Mark Mahaney reiterated a Buy rating on BABA, with a price target of $95, which represents a potential upside of 14.9% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on November 30, Goldman Sachs’ Piyush Mubayi maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $102.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Mark Mahaney and Piyush Mubayi have a total average return of 22.8% and 2.1% respectively. Mahaney has a success rate of 65.7% and is ranked #3 out of 3633 analysts, while Mubayi has a success rate of 47.8% and is ranked #1583.
Overall, 2 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 20 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $94.07 which is 13.8% above where the stock closed last Friday.