Alibaba is back on a U.S. government naughty list, and the Chinese company is suggesting politics might be to blame. The U.S. Trade Representative said Wednesday that the e-commerce giant’s main consumer site allows the sale of an “unacceptably high” level of fake goods.
It restored the site, Taobao.com, to its “Notorious Markets” blacklist just four years after taking it off. As well as warning about the large amounts of counterfeit and pirated goods on Taobao, the agency reported a range of obstacles that brands face in efforts to have knockoffs removed from the site.
Alibaba (BABA, Tech30) said it was disappointed by the U.S. move, pointing to the work it has done to combat counterfeiters. The U.S. decision “leads us to question whether the USTR acted based on the actual facts or was influenced by the current political climate,” Alibaba President Michael Evans said in a statement.
Western companies’ objections to Alibaba pre-dates Trump’s presidential victory, however. Trade groups have been pushing the U.S. Trade Representative to put the Chinese company back on the notorious markets list for more than a year.
Alibaba tried to fend off the pressure in October, submitting comments describing its “steadfast efforts to fight counterfeiters online and the sources of such production offline.” But that wasn’t enough to satisfy the U.S. agency, which said in its report that fake goods “pose a grave economic threat to U.S. creative and innovative industries” and even a safety hazard.
Being labeled a notorious market is embarrassing. But it doesn’t involve any concrete penalties and is unlikely to dissuade many big companies from selling goods through Alibaba’s various shopping portals. The tech giant remains an important gateway to the growing Chinese market.
Source : CNN
Alibaba Breaks New Legal Ground in China, Sues Alleged Counterfeit Sellers
In answer to the above Alibaba Group announced that it is suing two vendors using the company’s Taobao online-shopping website to sell fake Swarovski watches, the first-ever instance of an e-commerce platform taking a counterfeiter to court in China. Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company, lodged a case in the Shenzhen Longgang People’s District Court against sellers Liu Huajun and Wang Shenyi, seeking RMB 1.4 million ($201,320) for “violation of contract and goodwill.”