The e-commerce sites operated by Chinese tech giants Tencent and Alibaba have been added to the ‘notorious markets’ list by regulators of the US Trade Representative’s office (USTR).
Noting that they actively monitor and act upon intellectual property rights violations on their respective platforms, both companies have since vowed to work with government agencies to resolve the matter.
The USTR statement noted that its 2021 Review of Notorious Markets – an annual compilation of the worst intellectual-property abusers and counterfeiters- for the first time includes various Chinese entities, including AliExpress and the WeChat e-commerce ecosystem, two significant China-based online markets.
The list of notorious markets for counterfeiting and piracy now includes 42 online markets, including China-based online markets Baidu Wangpan, DHGate, Pinduoduo, and Taobao, and 35 physical markets located in China accused of engaging in or facilitating trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.
These physical markets, as it’s noted, are known for the manufacture, distribution, and sale of counterfeit goods.
According to the USTR, the list it publishes annually since 2006, does not lead to any direct sanctions or penalties but serves to raise public and government awareness of intellectual property issues.
It is considered a stain on a company’s reputation although it does not reflect any actual findings of legal violations of intellectual property rights.
Robert Holleyman, who helped oversee the list as deputy US trade representative under President Obama, underlined that the list has proven useful for getting companies, particularly larger ones, to do more to fight piracy and counterfeiting.
Beijing slammed in a statement on Friday the recent additions as irresponsible, stressing that the list lacks conclusive evidence and sufficient proof.