Taobao listed in USTR Notorious Markets Review for the fourth year running
China’s e-commerce giant owned by Alibaba Group, Taobao (淘宝网) has again landed on the annual Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy for 2019, released by the Administration’s Office of the United Sates Trade Representative (USTR) on April 29, 2020.
It is the fourth year in a row that the largest online marketplace in China, if not the world, appeared in the online market section of the Review. Despite Alibaba Groups’s considerable progress in clamping down on counterfeits, Taobao is reported to remain “one of the largest sources of counterfeit sales in China”. Some right holders continue to express serious concerns over “the lack of transparency regarding filters and other proactive anti-counterfeiting measures“.
DHgate (敦煌网) has also made the list for the third consecutive time. The biggest B2B cross-border online marketplace in China with over 21 million registered consumers, DHgate was again identified as a notorious market, for “the widespread availability of counterfeits on its platform and the ease with which counterfeits are located”.
Other online marketplaces on the list include Singaporean marketplaces Shopee (with related sites shopee.com.my, shopee.ph, shopee.co.th, shopee.vn, shopee.tw, and shopee.co.id) and Carousell, as well as Indonesian marketplace Tokopedia.
To the surprise of many, Amazon’s marketplace domains in Canada, France, Germany, India and the UK also made the cut this year. The right holders raised concerns that “the seller information displayed by Amazon is often misleading such that it is difficult for consumers and right holders alike to determine who is selling the goods”, and that “anyone can become a seller on Amazon with too much ease because Amazon does not sufficiently vet sellers on its platforms”. It marked the first time that foreign domains of an US-based e-marketplace were nominated by the USTR in the Notorious Markets Review.
Although not formally listed as a notorious market, WeChat (known as Weixin in China) was too mentioned for the first time in the Review. The all-encompassing mobile app where hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens chat, socialize, shop and pay for everything from taxi and takeout to Tiffany’s jewelry, was invoked due to USTR’s “growing concern about the proliferation of counterfeits facilitated by social media platforms”.
No matter which corner of the world your brand’s products are sold, IP Twins can assist you with identifying counterfeits and suspicious products that could be infringing your intellectual Property rights. Our Detective software monitors more than 150 e-commerce platforms, including Taobao, Alibaba, DHgate, Shopee, Carousell, Tokopedia and Amazon platforms. IP Twins collects evidences and removes references to counterfeits from hundreds of online marketplaces, social media platforms and the web in general.
- Office of the United States Trade Representative, 2019 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy.
- Office of the United States Trade Representative, 2020 Special 301 Report.
- United States: Shop Safe Act, a bill to end online counterfeiting, iptwins.com, 2020-03-03
- United States: around twenty priority measures to combat counterfeiting, iptwins.com, 2020-01-29
- United States: contributory trademark infringement. The Luxottica case, iptwins.com, 2019-11-21