WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ONLINE MARKETPLACES IN ASIA: NEW TRENDS AND EMERGING MARKETPLACES
Combatting counterfeiting in online marketplaces with an effective enforcement strategy is now a key part of many successful online brand protection programs. Have you considered your strategy for online marketplaces in Asia?
You can also read the webinar transcript below.
This free 30-minute CSC® webinar will assess the key digital challenges your brand may be facing on Asian marketplaces, and will cover:
Which marketplaces are the most popular and which are the most important to watch
Strategies to ensure you maximize your success rate when sending takedown requests
How to get rogue sellers suspended
Taobao's good-faith takedown mechanism
Case studies on online brand protection strategy results
Disclaimer: Please be advised that these free recorded webinar presentations have been edited from the original format (which might include a poll, product demonstration, and question-and-answer session). To set up a live demo, please complete the form to the right.
Catrina: Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar, "What You Need to Know About Online Marketplaces in Asia: New Trends and Emerging Marketplaces." My name is Catrina Jefferson and I will be your moderator. Joining us today are David Franklin and Irene Oh.
David Franklin is the global director of anti-counterfeit brand protection at CSC, the global partner for businesses looking to protect their brands and stop the sale of counterfeit products online. David has been with us at CSC for nine years.
Irene Oh is part of the brand protection operations team based in Cambridge, England and has over five years of experience in the brand protection and anti-counterfeiting field. Part of Irene's role is to forge and maintain our relationships with Chinese marketplace companies, understand the mechanisms for enforcement, and stay up to date on the brand protection environment in order to efficiently monitor the evolution and changes of the business.
And with that, let's welcome David and Irene.
David: Thank you very much, Catrina, and a very warm welcome to everybody on this webinar. So over the next 30 to 40 minutes, we're going to be focusing on online marketplaces in Asia, and this webinar is based on our most popular webinar that we gave last year, which is on Chinese marketplaces. So we've expanded the scope to cover other marketplaces in Asia as they become more important.
And before we get started, I just wanted to sort of explain that the aim of this webinar is twofold. One, to educate and provide you with know-how that maybe you can use in your own workplaces and your own roles in your different brands, and secondly, to showcase CSC's services in this area.
So without further ado, let's get started. And for our agenda today, we're going to cover three main things. Firstly, why Asian marketplaces are important, and which are the most important ones to watch. Secondly, we're going to cover some strategies that you can potentially use in your own roles to ensure you maximize your success when taking down infringements, and how you can potentially suspend rogue sellers from some of the Asian marketplaces we'll be looking at. And finally, we'll wrap up with some case studies on the sort of typical results that you can achieve in this area.
So, why are Asian marketplaces important, and which are the most important ones to watch? So it's probably no surprise to you that ecommerce sales in China have overtaken those of the USA, but you may not be aware of the magnitude. And so even in 2014, we were looking at over $400 billion worth of transactions in China over the year, and it's now exceeded vastly that number. So the tsunami of sales and counterfeits that are coming out of China is showing no sign of stopping at the moment.
And in fact, what we're seeing is a growth in not only sites like Taobao and Alibaba, which tend to have quite a high percentage of counterfeits, but also quite a strong growth, in fact, a stronger growth in Tmall than competitor Taobao in sales in Tmall. And Tmall is really designed for brand owners like yourselves to access the middle class in China. So it's more…it tends to be comprised of more legitimate sales and many brands using it as a way to launch a storefront to the Chinese middle class.
And in fact, we are seeing a huge increase in access to marketplaces via mobile devices. So back in 2014, about 40% of the sales on Alibaba Singles' Day, which is a bit like Black Friday, were via mobile devices. Fast-forward to 2015, that was nearly 69% of sales were done on mobile devices. And last year, it was closer to 90%. So we're seeing a lot of access on, to these marketplaces via mobile devices, but they still are accessing these marketplaces. So we've seen the rise of social media, we've seen the rise of apps, but a lot of transactions are still being done on marketplaces.
Now, it'll be the subject of another webinar, but we've seen social media grow 15% year on year, compared to marketplace sales, which are somewhat lower than that.
Okay, let's focus on the Chinese domestic market. So back in 2015, 14 billion ecommerce parcels were delivered across China. So there are a higher number of parcels actually being delivered within the domestic market and also externally from China. So it's a huge problem. The Chinese postal service and the different couriers are struggling to even scan for parcel bombs, let alone counterfeits. So you can't really rely on the postal service to check for counterfeit goods, and customs are also struggling. In fact, one counterfeiter went on record to say that he always chose UPS to ship his counterfeit goods back to America and worldwide because they had an 80% success rate on getting past customs.
So we also looked to some statistics on where the point of origin was for counterfeit goods that were confiscated by US law enforcement coming into the US, and in fact, the large majority of goods seized were originated in China. Hardly any surprise. So $1.2 billion worth out of 1.7.
I mean, a lot of this now is coming as very small consignments, as we see here. As it says on the AliExpress site, "Quickly delivered to your home." Over the last five years, we've seen a 10 times decrease in the size of shipments, so there's been a big trend away from big counterfeit, big container loads of counterfeit to small consignments to individuals and perhaps the smaller resellers.
So looking at where the activity's going on and which are the most popular marketplaces, let's just take a look at the Chinese marketplaces to start off with. And we've ranked them according to the number of visitors they receive per day, so their visitor traffic.
Right at the top is Taobao with probably more visitors than all the other significant Chinese marketplaces put together, so almost 200 million visitors per day. It's the second most visited site in China. And Taobao, as we'll see later on, is very focused on selling to Chinese consumers. It's much more of a domestic-focused site, but very popular nonetheless.
And then we've got a range of other sites here. Ruten is one that's becoming increasingly popular, based in Taiwan. Of course, many of you on this call probably know about sites like Alibaba and AliExpress, and we'll come to those in a minute.
So, I mean, just a little bit about CSC's marketplace suite. We actually cover up to 350 marketplaces across the globe. We wouldn't necessarily recommend that everyone sort of…covers all 350 for their service. It makes much more sense to focus on a small number of marketplaces and really make a big impact on those, and then focus on other marketplaces that might be causing your brand some significant damage.
So a little bit about the Alibaba group marketplaces. So Taobao, as we've just talked about, is focused on mainly Chinese consumers, and we're finding it's mainly Chinese sellers selling to Chinese consumers on Taobao. So Tmall is for mainly global brands to access Chinese consumers, typically the middle class Chinese consumers.
AliExpress is for global sellers, but also quite a large percentage of Chinese manufacturers accessing global consumers. So in fact, it's the largest ecommerce site by popularity in Russia. And Alibaba.com is more for Chinese manufacturers and other global sellers to access a much more global market. In fact, many of the Alibaba sellers tend to export sort of 85, 90% of their goods. And we see an awful lot of Alibaba sellers now shipping back to the US. And you can see that on the Alibaba profiles. They provide transaction summaries and a profile of where the goods are being shipped to.
And 1688 is really sort of a site that connects Chinese manufacturers to smaller Chinese sellers. Again, it's more domestically focused.
And so Alibaba are really trying to increase the resources that they're bringing to help brand owners remove counterfeits off their sites. Dan Dougherty, who used to be in the enforcement team at eBay, has now joined Matthew Bassiur at Alibaba. They're trying everything they can. I think their biggest fear is to be sued by brand owners, so they're trying everything they can. But it's still a fact that even the Chinese government have said that they estimate 63% of everything sold on Alibaba Group sites is counterfeit, and that's also self-confirmed by what we see, as well.
But as we said at the start, it's interesting to look at what else is going on in Asia, because it's not just China now. We're seeing significant numbers of counterfeits on sites like Tokopedia in Indonesia, Shopee in Indonesia, Rakuten in Japan. So a number of these sites are now starting to become a lot more significant for brand owners.
And we see here, Tokopedia is 2.5 million visitors per day. If we go back to the site we saw earlier, 2.5 million per day is, it puts it above Ruten in Taiwan and just under 1688 in terms of visitor traffic. So they're starting to come somewhere, some of these sites here are starting to come somewhere in the middle of the Chinese sites. Of course, Rakuten is highly trafficked, as well.
So we did a little analysis for a couple of companies, so two different companies, two different brands, just to see, so these were companies that CSC's not working with. They came to us for analysis on what the profile of counterfeit activity was across some of the popular Chinese sites and other sites in Southeast Asia. And what we found was that whilst they felt that they had a reasonable control on the situation on Alibaba, AliExpress, and Taobao, which I tend to agree with based on this profile. Perhaps the Alibaba is also a little on the high side. But what they didn't realize was that there was a huge amount of activity going on on Tokopedia, Shopee, Ruten, which was potentially damaging their brand and also their sales.
So this is not uncommon. A lot of people are not really realizing what's going on on some of these new and emerging sites. And some of these sites are getting a lot of support from their local governments, who want them to sort of, I guess, be a part of the massive growth in online marketplaces, and also be a significant competitor to some of the Chinese marketplaces. So this shows it's definitely worth taking a look on some of these other Asian marketplaces.
So let's take a look at sort of strategies that you might be able to employ within your own environment to maximize your success with takedowns from marketplaces and also suspend some of the rogue sellers. So here are some tips to maximize your success when removing infringing goods from Asian marketplaces.
So first couple of top tips is identify patterns. Focus on who might be the high-value targets that might be causing you undue pain and revenue loss, because they might be the ones that, if you focus on them and stop them doing what they're doing, it may cause a much better return on your efforts. You might see an increase in your sales or a reduction in lost sales, a reduction in brand damage. So use that to sort of cluster together the high-value targets and all their different entities, so not just their presence on marketplaces, but also websites and social media, etc.
And then categorize the sales by whether it's counterfeit, gray market, or legitimate. Obviously, there's different approaches you'll take for different type of infringement.
So here's a screenshot of the CSC technology that we use to group together results from persistent or active sellers. So here we see a range of top sellers targeting, in this case, Kenwood food mixers. So we just picked sort of the fifth seller here, and taking a look at all of their listings, so we've grouped together all of their 15 offers, and what that means is that we're able to decide on the right strategy on how to tackle those 15 offers. We could, for instance, do a bulk takedown of all the 15 together, or we might choose to batch up into three groups of takedowns based over a couple of weeks with the intention of trying to get the seller suspended. And we'll come on to seller suspension in a minute.
The next tip is to consider all options for takedown. So many of you might be familiar with the trademark takedown route, but there are other options, as well. You can takedown on the basis of counterfeit goods, on the basis of copyright infringement, even design right infringement. And there are a range of enforcement codes that some of the marketplaces have. So we encourage you to make sure you use the right codes for the right situation to maximize the speed in which the infringements are taken down and the effectiveness.
So, for instance, here's an example of trademark infringement, somebody claiming that they're selling Medela equipment when actually, when you look down here, it's a completely different brand. So they're just trying to pass off, in a very basic way, that this is a Medela trademark.
So here's an example of a counterfeit offer, and we would pick up on things like the price, the description, the way the product looks, to determine whether it's counterfeit or not.
And here's an example of a design right or patent infringement. And for these, we'd typically look for the way the goods are described, because in this case, they're not necessarily saying the branded name of the product. They're using some of the words in the description describes the fact that this is a definite design right infringement.
And all of those can be enforced on different marketplaces, and we can also enforce on copyright takedown. Now, Irene, would you like to explain a little bit about how we go about copyright-based takedown?
Irene: Yeah, so sometimes the sellers, they will copy the images that can be seen on the official websites. So what we can do is if the brand owner can sign a copyright statement, this is especially useful when the brand owners don't have any copyright registered in China, for example, then you'll be able to sign this statement, and we can submit this IPR document as an IPR document to Taobao or, for example. And then provide the official link to show that you actually own this, the copyright image. Then the marketplaces will remove the listing.
David: Super. Thanks, Irene. And we'll cover a little bit in a bit more detail how you can go about actually sending enforcement notices in a few slides' time.
So next tip is to be careful with documentation. So some of the sites are quite specific about what the documentation should look like, and it makes sense to check it before you send it so that there aren't any delays and you get the fastest and most compliant possible takedown.
So, Irene, tell us about things to be careful with when submitting IP documentation like trademarks, etc.
Irene: Yeah, for some of the brand owners where they have their trademark or any IPR documents, they are registered using the logo subsidiary's name. But often Taobao or some other marketplaces, they won't be able to accept this if the brand owner's name doesn't match with the name appearing on the business incorporation certificate. So what they need is really a clear evidence to show that these companies are the same companies as they claim they are. And so this is one thing to bear in mind.
The second thing is that the registered IP rights must be valid and showing the latest details. So if there has been a change on the name of the ownership for the particular IP, or if it's expired, then you must show the renewal cert and any other documents that you have to show the latest details.
David: Yeah. And so these are sort of a couple of tips that, from our years and years of experience of sending takedown requests, that are some of the common things that we find can be problematic.
So what one of the things that CSC does, of course, for all its clients is that we gather together all the documentation required at the start of the service in a one-time operation so that we don't then need to ask for it in the future, and we just store that and then use it wherever necessary. We take a lot of the pain out of having to sort of work out what documents are required for what marketplace.
Another tip is to search in Chinese. It probably makes sense for Chinese marketplaces. But also search in, for instance, Thai for Thai marketplaces, Chinese on Ruten, which is a Taiwanese site, Vietnamese on Vietnamese sites, etc., Korean on Korean sites. It can uncover otherwise hidden results.
So this is just one example where we're looking for Playboy clothing or footwear, and we've searched for it in Chinese, and all of the results that have come back don't have any kind of Latin script in the title or in the abstract of the offer. So it's unlikely we would have returned these sort of results if we'd just been searching for Playboy in the Latin script.
And so it makes sense if you're doing it manually to search in this way. One of the things that CSC technology is able to do is search for all these different languages in a more automated way, so harnessing the power of technology can really help make sure you've left no stone unturned.
And then the last sort of three tips are as follows. Personal relationships, they can really help greatly, and send notices in Chinese. So, Irene, tell us a little bit more about personal relationships, how they can help, and how sending notices in Chinese is a good idea.
Irene: Yeah, so from time to time, of course, we will experience some difficulties when it comes to enforcement or even just use the dedicated takedown processes. So having a personal relationship can actually make sure that we attend to these issues on time.
For example, we might come across difficulties when we try to enforce particular listings, so having a personal contact, we can actually go to that person and say, and ask for advice, and ask them for help on which is the best way to submit a particular listing, for example.
And sending notices in the local language is really helpful because it could be that the other end person, they might not speak English at all, so having the notices sent in the language that they are used to and that they know about will help them to understand what our notices or what our requests are. Then they'll be able to attend to these issues quicker and they'll be able to take enforcement action against that listing quickly.
David: Thanks, Irene. And so, I mean, both of these things are things that brand owners could potentially deal with if they had unlimited resources, so if they had lots of time to build up personal relationships and lots of different language speakers within their own team. But usually that's not practical, and that's, I guess, part of the value of what CSC can offer, is we've got all of this already set up from years of building up relationships and having a team of over 50 analysts who are able to speak a range of different languages. And that allows us to exceed sort of 90 to 95% success rate for takedowns, and usually takedowns within a couple of days.
So how do we actually send the takedown notices? So it's important to understand the site takedown policy and procedure. Some require an online form. Some are happy to accept an email takedown request.
So, Irene, walk us through how people would do a takedown from the Alibaba Group marketplaces.
Irene: So starting the start of this year, Alibaba Group actually just changed their policy and the takedown process. We can now use a single portal to log in and submit all the relevant documents and do takedowns. As you can see, the link is on the slide there. And you are then redirected to either the TaoProtect or AliProtect portals depending on the site that you wish to do enforcement on.
For Taobao and Tmall specifically, they require the relevant documents that are registered in China and issued by the Chinese IP office. As you can see, it has to be, the IPR document has to be in color copy with a clear stamp, as you can see on the slide there, the third image. And for use of the copyright images from the official website, as mentioned earlier, we just need a statement signed by the brand owner to state that they own all the copyrighted images appearing on the official website or on the brochure, for example. Then we'll be able to submit that and use that as an IPR document to show Taobao or the Alibaba group that the brand owner actually owns the copyrighted images.
David: So that's an interesting point. So you don't actually need a copyright registration. Simply links to the official website within a statement is sufficient.
Irene: Yes, exactly.
And we've prepared a screenshot on the next slide where you can see, once you log in, you'll be able to choose whether you want to submit a Taobao listing or an Alibaba listing, for example, and you just click on the icon, and the portal will redirect you to the appropriate platform to use to submit online infringing listings.
And the first screenshot at the back, that's the IPR manager, where you can see the list, the submitted IPR documents and their related status, so how many have been approved, how many have been rejected or pending for review, etc. And this second screenshot of the brand, that's the Taobao.com, we call it the TaoProtect Portal, where you'll be able to submit Taobao and Tmall infringing listings. And you need to select appropriate reason and appropriate IPR documents, provide any attachment that you have as evidence, and then click on submit.
To do enforcement on Alibaba, AliExpress, and 1688.com, we just need to log in using the same portal using the same login details. And to enforce on 1688.com in particular, they have the same document requirements as Taobao, so all the IPR documents have to be registered in China and with the clear IPO, the Chinese IPO system. But on Alibaba and AliExpress, they accept US, WIPO, or any other IPR certificate, which is very important, because as long as you have the Chinese registered IPR, you'll be able to do enforcement across all five sites, but if not, then you can utilize your US or WIPO trademark certificates to do enforcement on Alibaba.com and AliExpress.com.
We have prepared…
David: Now, some of you on this call might…yeah, so some of you on this call might be thinking, that's a bit strange. Why would the same group of companies have two different rules for the two different sets of sites, where Alibaba and AliExpress are okay to accept US or WIPO trademark certificates, whereas the more Chinese-focused sites like Taobao and Tmall, 1688, require Chinese trademark certificates.
And I asked Alibaba this a couple of weeks ago, and it's to do with the fact that Chinese law applies for the sites which are more domestically focused, and so it's kind of a Chinese legal requirement that they need the Chinese trademark certificates. So that's the reason why. I guess the good news is that even if you don't have a Chinese trademark certificate, you can still submit takedowns and have them successfully taken down on Alibaba and AliExpress.
Irene: Yeah. And this is just a few screenshots to show you the portal that we can use to submit Alibaba and AliExpress infringing listings, including you'll be able to track which particular listings you've submitted for which seller and the status of that listing or the complaint.
David: So a little bit about sort of taking a more strategic approach. So we often get asked by companies, well, is it just a game of whack-a-mole, and you sort of take them down and they pop up again, take them down, and it's a never-ending game of whack-a-mole? And that's not strictly true. I mean, as you'll see in the case studies later on, it is possible to make a quite significant deterrent effect on counterfeiters. And one of the reasons is that we can be highly efficient, we can take down at a rate of 30 to 50 takedowns per hour, so we can sort of cut off the oxygen to the counterfeiters so they're down more than they're up, and so they're not really making any sales because nobody can see their offers, because they're always down.
Another way is to utilize the various different seller suspension policies that many of the marketplaces have. And in the case of Taobao and Alibaba, they have a three strikes rule, as we call it, as they call it. And how that works is that essentially if you takedown a particular seller three times in a row, maybe over a couple of weeks period, and it relates to the same brand or trademark, then that seller can potentially be suspended. So for Taobao, after the first and second strike, sort of more and more points are deducted from that particular seller, until after the third strike, the merchant is shut down.
With Alibaba, it's slightly different. They send a warning letter, then the seller's suspended after the second strike, and then completely shut down and banned after the third strike.
So, I mean, it isn't always 100% foolproof. So the sites don't always apply it in a consistent way. But it is useful to use it wherever possible. And some people might say, "Well, doesn't the seller just change their identity and come back again?" Well, there probably is some of that going on. It's still pretty difficult, because the seller then has to build up all their feedback under their new identity, and they may be selling a range of different products, so it's going to hurt all of the different products they're trying to knock off.
We are hearing that Taobao and Alibaba, some of their sites are becoming more rigorous in the way they check for duplicate identities, so they now require people to supply their national ID number, specifically Chinese national ID number. They're also using facial recognition to try and weed out sort of sellers who are trying to come back under a false identity. So it is getting better, but we've certainly found this to be quite helpful.
The other thing is that you need to be a little bit careful about using this. For Taobao, it's got to be the same trademark for the three strikes, and obviously any takedowns that you submit under this have actually got to go through. So if the seller comes back and counterclaims against the takedown, and then Taobao upholds that and they don't decide, the listing doesn't come down, then that doesn't really count for the three strikes rule. But if the listings are taken down successfully, and if you space them out correctly, so three days, then after seven days, then maybe at the end of two weeks, and it's all against the same trademark, there's a good chance you'll get a seller suspension on Taobao.
And for Alibaba, slightly less strict, so it doesn't have to be the same trademark. It can be just in the same brand. And so, again, you need to space it out over a couple of weeks. And as we saw earlier, the ability for the CSC technology to group together all of a seller's listings gives you a wonderful way to be able to just easily batch together those sellers' offers to maximize the chance of having a successful three strike seller suspension.
So the other thing to be aware of is the good-faith takedown mechanism that Taobao offers. And so this is a way, I guess, of getting faster takedown, more successful takedowns. I mean, it's something that CSC already has a very strong, trusted relationship with Alibaba Group companies, so we already have our own sort of highly successful takedown rates and fast tracked takedowns. But as a brand owner, if you have a particularly high accuracy of takedowns, so the number of errors must be less than 1.5%, and if over 90% of your submissions are being taken down, then there's a good chance you could potentially join the good-faith takedown mechanism, which will give you faster processing.
So it means that Taobao, if you are part of this takedown mechanism, you'll get a one to three-day takedown time, rather than the usual five to seven days. However, if your error rate climbs above 5% or if the percentage of complaints removed is less than 45%, so your success rate is less than 45%, then you'll probably end up at the back of the queue, so probably worse than where you were at the start, because Taobao will put you to the back of the queue. In their language, they will "require more time and effort to review the complaints." So just be careful. If you enter into this, you need to have a high degree of checking before you send off the listings for takedown.
So taking a quick look at other sites, not necessarily Chinese sites. So, Irene, walk us through the enforcement procedure for Tokopedia and then Shopee.
Irene: Yeah. As you all know, Tokopedia is mainly based in Indonesia. How we do a takedown there is we submit the infringing listings via email. Counterfeit and copyright infringement are the main reasons that we use to do enforcement on. Along in that email, we do attach the business incorporation certificate, a registration form which you have to fill in and sign by the brand owner, and the local IPR certificate, which includes the trademark certificate issued by the Indonesian IP office, along with a list of the infringing URLs in the spreadsheet.
For Shopee, as some of you may have known, Shopee do have various country sites. So, for example, they have .tw for Taiwan, .co.th for Thailand. They have a very similar takedown process as Tokopedia. So we submit infringing listings via email, and the counterfeit is the main approach that we use to do takedown on. And local IPR certs is a requirement for the Taiwanese site, so any IPR registered in Taiwan we have to submit those. Specifically for Thailand, they're not currently asking for any IPR certificate, however, it is always a best practice for the brand owner to have their rights registered in the local country, and this will be very useful when it comes to enforcement in the near future.
David: Thank you, Irene. And the good news here is that these sites are compliant to takedown requests. We're taking thousands and thousands of counterfeit listings down off Tokopedia on a regular basis. We're finding that they're pretty compliant.
So we would recommend that if you're thinking of online marketplace monitoring and enforcement on other marketplaces we've been talking about, that you also consider what might be a sensible complement to that marketplace delisting. So it could be, for instance, doing some payment gateway deactivation for the sellers' merchant accounts, maybe investigating if they have any related websites, maybe doing some test purchases. We could do simple evidential test purchases or complex test purchases. Or even investigating in a more in-depth way links to websites, social media, and other presences on the internet.
And so this is a strategy that many of our clients find quite useful, so, to complement the sort of detection and takedown services is to identify who are the high-value targets and do a little bit more online digging. And this is a service that we can provide where we link together a particular seller with associated websites, personal information, links to social media sites, blogs, forums, and spam, and with the aim of hopefully identifying a potential factory address. Not always 100% guaranteed, but as we'll see in one of the case studies, it's possible to find factory addresses, and then that can lead to further legal action, raids, etc.
So here's some examples of the results that can be achieved using the sort of techniques we've been describing. So first case study is Billabong. They've been a CSC client for just over two years, since May 2015, and so far we've taken over 2 million counterfeit Billabong items down from various different online channels, particularly online marketplaces, at a rate of 50 takedowns per hour. And there's a press release on that which you can see on that link.
Here's a case study on a European luxury brand. This was a particularly interesting case study because we managed to identify five offline fake production sites. So as I was mentioning earlier, it is sometimes possible to find factory locations. In this case, we partnered with CertiLogo, who have an innovative tagging product that allows consumers to verify a label that's on the garment to determine whether it's counterfeit or not. And that gives this particular brand owner, and also us, great information on the distribution of where their counterfeits are and helps to lead us towards the factory locations, as well as it helps to speed up the whole process of identifying what's counterfeit and what's not. So we managed to remove about €280 million worth of items over the course of a year, and also removed 400 fake social media profiles.
Here's an example of a US brand. And this shows you it is possible to have a very strong deterrent effect. In this case, an over 90% decrease in the availability and visibility of counterfeit items were on marketplaces over the course of a year. We did this through a number of ways, but mainly through the seller suspension and getting sellers to be banned from sites or for the sellers to focus on other brands rather than this particular brand. And you see there was a range of different marketplaces that we're enforcing on. Overall we had a success rate of 90%, we submitted 46,000 takedowns over the course of the 12 months, and we did see some of the sellers migrate from one site to another and then eventually give up.
And lastly, here's a case study on a European furniture company called Kartell. They do designer furniture. And we helped them massively take control and remove the number of infringing listings on Taobao from 22,000 infringements at the start of the program to just over 1000 listings at the end of the program. So that's a huge reduction. And some of those were not only counterfeit, but also design right infringements and trademark infringements, as well.
So in conclusion, we've shown that it's important to watch Asian marketplaces, not just Chinese marketplaces. We've also shown that it's important you've got the right trademark and design right protection, if possible. So it is possible to use copyright and other ways, but if you've got the right trademark protection, it does make life a lot easier and allows you to be much more aggressive and stronger in your protection of your intellectual property rights.
If you do design to take action on Asian marketplaces, consider sort of a strategic focused approach, where you're focusing on the top sellers, the high-value targets that may be causing you the most pain, and try and make the impact in the shortest possible time. And use that three strikes rule that we mentioned earlier to try and get some of the sellers suspended.
But even with the successful case studies we've shown, we'd still recommend a basic level of monitoring or take down even after you feel like you've got the situation under control because that will ensure that the counterfeiters stay away once you do have it under control.
So I hope that that's given you some food for thought. If anyone has any questions, please enter them into the panel. We've got a couple of minutes left for any questions, and it's been a great pleasure talking…
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