The US flags Alibaba, Tencent sites as businesses that trade counterfeit goods
The US has added sites operated by Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Tencent to its “Notorious Markets List” of businesses it believes are involved with trading counterfeit goods. AliExpress is owned by Alibaba and WeChat is operated by Tencent.
The e-commerce sites operated by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd have been placed on the United States government’s “notorious markets” list of entities that allegedly sell or facilitate the sale of counterfeit goods, the US Trade Representative’s office said on Thursday.
The US Trade Representative first started identifying “notorious markets” in 2006. Its list is aimed at protecting American businesses and workers from the effects of cheap counterfeit goods, that are usually manufactured outside the US, the BBC reported.
The list identifies 42 online sites and 35 physical stores, including e-commerce platforms, run by the firms. The US trade agency says they “engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright privacy.”
The US and China are in a long-running dispute over trade and technology.
US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai said, “The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods undermines critical US innovation and creativity and harms American workers.”
The Office of the USTR said its list had for the first time included AliExpress and WeChat e-commerce sites.
It called the sites “two significant China-based online markets that reportedly facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting.”
China-based online markets Baidu Wangpan, DHGate, Pinduoduo, and Taobao continue to be listed, it added, “as well as nine physical markets located within China that are known for the manufacture, distribution, and sale of counterfeit goods.”
Tencent said it had “invested significant resources” into protecting intellectual property rights on its platforms, the report said. “We strongly disagree with the decision made by the US Trade Representative and are committed to working collaboratively to resolve this matter,” a spokesperson said.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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