Alibaba and Tencent sites added to US ‘notorious markets’ list

Alibaba Headquarters in Hangzhou, China. Credit: Thomas Lombard | Wikimedia

The US government has added popular e-commerce sites operated by China’s Tencent and Alibaba to its “notorious markets” list.

The US Trade Representative’s office said on Thursday that is was adding the two online markets to its growing list of 42 online and 35 physical markets that are alleged to facilitate or engage in widespread piracy of copyright and trademark counterfeiting.

“This includes identifying for the first time AliExpress and the WeChat e-commerce ecosystem, two significant China-based online markets that reportedly facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting.”

The list already includes a handful of top China-based online markets, namely Taobao, Pingduoduo, Baidu Wangpan and DHGate. The list also includes 9 physical markets in China “known for the manufacture, distribution, and sale of counterfeit goods.”

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Predictably, the Chinese ministry of commerce condemned the decision on Friday as an irresponsible act, while Tencent voiced its strong disagreement and cited its actions to protect intellectual property rights.

“[Tencent is] committed to working collaboratively to resolve this matter.”

Alibaba responded in like manner, saying it continues to collaborate with governments regarding intellectual property protection concerns.

While the list casts shade on the reputations of the these sites, they will not feel the pinch of any penalties. So US consumers can rest assured they’ll be able to continue purchasing cheap counterfeit goods from China.

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