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Alibaba Founder Cancels Speech at Anti-Counterfeit Conference

  • VOA News

FILE - Chairman and chief executive of Alibaba Group Jack Ma reacts during a session of "Future-Proofing the Internet Economy" at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in China's port city Dalian, September 9, 2015.

FILE - Chairman and chief executive of Alibaba Group Jack Ma reacts during a session of "Future-Proofing the Internet Economy" at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in China's port city Dalian, September 9, 2015.

The head of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has cancelled his appearance at an anti-counterfeit conference in Orlando, Florida, where he was due to be a keynote speaker.

Alibaba announced Tuesday that creator Jack Ma, self-made millionaire, would no longer be in attendance.

The move follows the suspension of Alibaba's general membership in the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), the organization behind the conference in Florida.

"Given the IACC's desire for additional time to reflect upon the viability of its general membership category, Alibaba feels it best that Jack Ma postpone his appearance," said head of international corporate communications Jennifer Kuperman in a statement.

Alibaba has been repeatedly accused of being a platform for counterfeit goods. Multiple companies, including Gucci and Michael Kors, left the IACC after Alibaba was admitted in April, saying they viewed China's huge online marketer as the world's largest marketplace for fakes.

The company will maintain a presence at the conference. Its president Michael Evans will replace Ma and speak Thursday.

Ma was spotted leaving the White House campus Tuesday where it was later confirmed that he had lunch with President Obama, though the meeting was not listed on his public schedule and no details were provided.

Alibaba was launched in 1999 and went public in 2014 in the biggest initial public offering of stock in history.

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