Reasons Why The U.S. Added Alibaba, WeChat To Its Counterfeit And Piracy List

Reasons Why The U.S. Added Alibaba, WeChat To Its Counterfeit And Piracy List
Reasons Why The U.S. Added Alibaba, WeChat To Its Counterfeit And Piracy List

The US government has added popular Chinese e-commerce sites AliExpress and WeChat, which are operated by Alibaba BABA-4.37 percent and Tencent Holdings TCEHY-2.52 percent, respectively, to its latest list of “notorious markets for counterfeiting and piracy.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative compiled the list, which was released on Thursday, and it highlights online and physical markets that engage in or facilitate trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.

According to the United States Trade Representative, the list includes 42 online markets and 35 physical markets.

This is the first time AliExpress or the WeChat e-commerce system have appeared on the list, joining the ranks of other Chinese online markets such as Baidu Wangpan, DHGate, Pinduoduo, and Taobao.

In a press release accompanying the report, the trade representative’s office stated that both sites “apparently facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting.”

Alibaba’s  business-to-consumer platform, AliExpress, sells Chinese goods worldwide. According to the trade representative’s office, while Alibaba is known for having “some of the best anti-counterfeiting processes” in the e-commerce industry, copyright holders discovered a significant increase in counterfeit goods offered for sale on AliExpress.

“We are encouraged that the USTR today recognized Alibaba as having some of the best anti-counterfeiting processes and systems in the e-commerce industry,” said Alibaba in a written statement.

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“We understand the challenges of intellectual property protection and remain fully committed to advancing our leadership in this area,” the company said.

Tencent’s  WeChat e-commerce system has rapidly grown to be one of China’s largest marketplaces, as well as one of the “largest platforms for counterfeit goods in China,” according to the US government’s list.

According to a statement emailed by a Tencent spokesperson, Tencent “strongly disagree[s]” with the trade representative’s list. According to the spokesperson, the company actively monitors, deters, and prosecutes violations across the platform.
“IPR protection is critical to our business,” said the company. “On all of our platforms, we take a comprehensive approach to combating counterfeiting and infringement based on industry best practices.”

Since 2011, the United States has published a list of notorious markets in order to raise public awareness and aid in intellectual property enforcement.

Tencent’s stock in the United States closed 0.6 percent lower on Thursday. Alibaba dropped 0.9 percent.