"We are very pleased to partner (with) Lazada in this initiative,” said Lee Hae Pyeung president of KOIPA. “Such support for IP protection offers Korean companies the assurance that their brands will remain protected and will attract more Korean sellers to join Lazada to reach their thousands of true fans."
IP protection key
The MOU is the first-ever partnership between a South Korean intellectual property (IP) regulator and an e-commerce company in Southeast Asia.
The MOU states that Lazada and KOIPA will work together to set up a framework to curb the trade of illicit Korean products. This includes allowing the report and removal of products that violate the Intellectual Property (IP) rights of Korean brands.
“Lazada will leverage its state-of-art technologies and close ties with stakeholders like IP rights holders, trade associations and governments to implement best practices to protect the IP rights,” said the company in a statement.
It added that it plans to host a joint seminar about IP rights protection to raise awareness and exchange information about IP rights issues.
"Such measures to curb illicit trading of goods on Lazada are aimed at boosting the confidence and preserving the trust of shoppers on our platform," said Lazada Group's general-counsel and head of government affairs, Gladys Chun.
K-goods still on top
Korean products are one of the most popular categories in Lazada, driven by the interest in Korean culture. A number of popular Korean beauty brands such as Laneige, Innisfree, Etude House, Mamonde are sold on Lazada and have flagship stores on the platform.
“With the soaring interest in all things Korean, from dramas, K-Pop, food and celebrities, Korean products are increasingly popular in Southeast Asia. In meeting the surge in demand, Lazada, as the region's leading online shopping and selling platform, is fully committed to become shoppers' trusted destination for Korean products,” said Lazada.
Looming counterfeit concerns
E-commerce platforms such as Lazada’s parent company Alibaba have struggled with the presence of counterfeit products on its platforms.
Earlier this year, Alibaba made the US’s blacklist for the second year in the row for concerns over fake goods even though the company has been making efforts to curb the spread of fakes on its platform.
In 2017, the company affirmed its commitment with the inception of the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA), which has tripled in size since.
Last month at a Business of Fashion conference in Shanghai, The Financial Times reported that Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri is hesitant to work with Alibaba or its rival JD.com because of the widespread counterfeiting.
Lazada's partnership with KOIPA is part of ongoing efforts to make Lazada the trusted destination for brands, sellers and shoppers, said the company.
The firm launched LazMall, Southeast Asia's largest shopping mall, in order to guarantee shoppers the highest-quality shopping experience with 100% authentic products.