The USTR (United States Trade Representative) recently added websites run by Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent to its “Fame Markets” list of businesses it believes are promoting counterfeit goods and piracy.
Official data identified 42 websites and 35 physical stores, including e-commerce-based platforms run by firms. Given that there has been a long-running dispute between the United States and China over trade and technology, it is possible that the new additions to the list are the main reason.
Some of the prominent brands on this list are Alibaba’s AliExpress and TenC’s WeChat. The USTR claimed that AliExpress offered a number of anti-counterfeiting services and systems, but despite the platform’s efforts, it found a significant increase in counterfeit products sold through its website.
Similarly, USTR called for WeChat’s e-commerce ecosystem to facilitate the spread and sale of counterfeit products.
The statement came from US Trade Representative Catherine Tai.
The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods undermines critical innovation and creativity in the United States and harms American workers.
A statement issued by Tencent, meanwhile, said the USTR was committed to working together to address the platform’s problems and did not fully comply with the decision, which said it invested significant resources in protecting intellectual property rights. As the news comes amid ongoing crises between the United States and China, it remains to be seen how the situation will develop for China’s two largest e-commerce platforms.