* Kering suit says Alibaba a conduit for counterfeiters
* Alibaba’s Ma says in talks with Apple over payment system (Adds more comments from Ma, background)
By Christine Kim
SEOUL, May 19 (Reuters) - The founder of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd on Tuesday called “regrettable” a lawsuit by a group of luxury goods firms owned by Kering SA accusing the Chinese e-commerce giant of being a conduit for counterfeiters.
Executive Chairman Jack Ma was speaking after Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other brands owned by Kering sued Alibaba in the United States on Friday, accusing it of knowingly making it possible for counterfeiters to sell their products throughout the world.
“I think it is regrettable that that company sued us. It would have been better had they tried to find a solution through cooperation with us,” he told reporters in Seoul.
Ma also said Alibaba was interested in investing in U.S. tech companies, confirming media reports that the e-commerce firm is in talks with Apple Inc over an electronic payments system.
“We are in talks for cooperation regarding a payment system. Both companies want a variety of ways to cooperate, but for now we are working on our first project,” Ma said.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was quoted by China’s Xinhua News Agency earlier this week as saying Apple had been in talks with Alibaba to launch Apple Pay in China. (Additional reporting by Sohee Kim; Editing by Tony Munroe and Miral Fahmy)