(Yicai Global) April 4 -- Alibaba Group Holding Co. is suing a company in the Emirate of Dubai for issuing a virtual currency styled ‘Alibabacoin,’ which China’s biggest online retailer claims is misleading because it was registered under the trademarked name Alibaba.
In a lawsuit filed in the US federal district court in New York on April 2, Alibaba said that the Alibabacoin Foundation’s “prominent, repeated, and intentionally misleading” use of its trademark is intended to make consumers believe that their products are associated with or recognized by Alibaba, news portal The Paper reported.
Alibaba has repeatedly stated that it does not want to enter the cryptocurrency market and the misunderstanding Alibabacoin has caused has already spread through the media, while Alibabacoin has not taken any action to combat or correct this misunderstanding, the complaint alleged. Alibabacoin has raised more than USD3.5 million.
A few hours after the lawsuit was filed, US District Judge Kimba Wood issued a temporary restraining order requiring Alibabacoin to demonstrate before April 11 that it should not be prohibited from continuing the alleged violation.
Authorities in China, once a world center of trading in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, have come down heavily on cryptos. They launched their first salvo last year and so far have banned exchanges and initial coin offerings and blocked access to offshore trading platforms among other measures.
The country’s central bank plans to unleash a fresh campaign against virtual currencies this year, its deputy governor said at the end of March.