E-commerce sites operated by Chinese internet giants Tencent and Alibaba have been added to the US governments list of entities that sell or allow the sale of counterfeit goods, reports The Wall Street Journal. The US trade representative’s office said the two companies were among the 35 physical markets and 42 online markets on the “notorious markets” list. The markets are reported to engage in or facilitate a substantial market for counterfeit goods or copyright piracy.
The agency said there was a significant increase in counterfeit goods offered for sale on AliExpress, Alibaba’s business-to-consumer e-commerce platform that sells Chinese goods to buyers around the world. Its offerings include goods that are blatantly advertised as counterfeit, as well as goods that are falsely advertised as genuine, the USTR said, based on reports from intellectual rights holders of products.
Tencent’s WeChat e-commerce system, along with its China-facing version called Weixin, has emerged as one of the largest platforms for counterfeit goods in China, the USTR said. Of particular concern there, it said, is its seamlessly functions within the overall WeChat platform that facilitates the distribution and sale of counterfeit products.