Alibaba-owned Chinese shopping platform AliExpress, as well as Tencent-owned WeChat shopping ecosystem, have been listed for the first time by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the list of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy that it produces annually since 2011.
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This listing flags physical and online marketplaces that are allegedly involved in or facilitating substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy. In its 2021 edition, 42 electronic markets and 35 physical markets are identified.
“This includes the first-ever identification of AliExpress and the WeChat e-commerce ecosystem, two major China-based online marketplaces that are reported to facilitate significant trademark counterfeiting,” USTR noted.
Additionally, it highlights that China-based online marketplaces Baidu Wangpan, DHGate, Pinduoduo, and Taobao continue to pop up, as well as nine physical marketplaces located within China that are known for manufacturing, distributing, and selling counterfeit products.
“The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods undermines critical US innovation and creativity and hurts American workers,” said US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
“This illicit trade also increases the vulnerability of workers involved in the manufacture of counterfeit products to exploitative labor practices, and counterfeit products can pose significant health and safety risks to consumers and workers around the world,” he added.
According to estimates by the United States Chamber of Commerce, piracy had a negative impact of almost 30,000 million dollars (26,393 million euros) for the US economy.
Spain ceased to appear in 2020 on the list of physical markets that facilitate the trade of counterfeits and pirated goods, after having appeared three consecutive years in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions.