The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) included for the first time in its piracy blacklist AliExpress and WeChat, two of the largest companies linked to the technology sector in China.
AliExpress, founded in 2010 by tycoon Jack Ma, is the largest e-commerce company in the Asian country; It is often compared to Amazon for its prominence in the industry.
Meanwhile, WeChat is the dominant social network in China. In addition to offering instant messaging services, it operates as a major platform for processing online payments.
The inclusion of both companies on the USTR piracy blacklist does not provide for the imposition of fines or trade sanctions at the government level, but is considered a blow to their reputations.
“China is the leading country of origin for counterfeit goods seized by US Customs and Border Protection,” highlighted the USTR in a statement.
He added that in addition to violating intellectual property rights, the sale of pirated products violates the rights of the workers involved in the manufacture of these items, since according to the USTR many are manufactured in clandestine workshops without civil protection or health prevention measures to avoid COVID-19 infections.
The agency also blacklisted e-commerce companies Baidu Wangpan, DHGate, Pinduoduo and Taobao, also from China.
In addition, he said he has detected an “increasingly popular” practice of hiding links to pirated product catalogs in image galleries.