The United State Trade Representative (USTR) has added a number of companies in its “Notorious Markets list” recently. The latest additions in the list includes a number of Chinese tech firms, like AliExpress and WeChat.
The US listed “42 online marketplaces and 35 physical marketplaces involved in or facilitating trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy”, the US Trade Representative, said Thursday. in a press release accompanied by a 50-page report.
The list includes for the first time the online sales site AliExpress (Alibaba group) and the messaging platform WeChat, “two important Chinese online marketplaces”.
The USTR noted that the AliExpress platform offered a number of anti-counterfeiting tools and systems, however, despite its efforts there were a significant rise in counterfeit goods being offered for sale on AliExpress. Similarly, it also flagged WeChat’s e-commerce ecosystem for facilitating the “distribution and sale of counterfeit products.”
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement that “The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods undermines critical US innovation and creativity and harms American workers.”
On the other hand, Tencent said that “We strongly disagree with the decision made by the United States Trade Representative and are committed to working collaboratively to resolve this matter.”
It also added that it has invested significant resources into protecting intellectual property rights as well. Notably, the news arrives amid the ongoing frictions between the US and China. So it remains to be seen how the situation impacts the two major China based online markets.