US report raps Alibaba's Taobao, others for pirated goods

January 13, 2018
Counterfeit handbags are among the billions of dollars in knock-off products imported each year, with China a major epicenter for sales of contraband, according to a new US government report

Alibaba's Taobao website and numerous public markets around the world were cited Friday as purveyors of hundreds of thousands of dollars in pirated goods in the US government's annual "notorious markets" review.

The report by the US Trade Representative spotlighted online venues that sell pirated goods, but also faulted physical markets in South and North America, Europe and Asia as spots where it was easy to purchase knockoff clothing, watches or perfume.

"Marketplaces worldwide that contribute to illicit trade cause severe harm to the American economy, innovation, and workers," USTR Robert Lighthizer said.

Imports of counterfeit and pirated goods are estimated at half a trillion dollars, or 2.5 percent of global imports, the USTR said.

In spite of some efforts by Alibaba to curb the sale of contraband products on Taobao.com, "the prevalence of infringing listings and sales continues to be a challenge," the report said.

US trade associations have complained about Taobao's lax record of taking down , and emphasized the need for action "given the sheer size, global reach, and growth of Alibaba's network," the report said.

Businesses "continue to identify China as the primary source of ," USTR said, pointing to public markets in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen as places where sellers can make counterfeit sales "with impunity."

But the report found violations outside of China as well, including the Swedish file-sharing site Pirate Bay.

Other physical markets listed included the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, where shops reportedly sell counterfeit handbags and wallets; the open-air "Friday Market" in Italy, where some 20,000 infringing articles are sold annually; and the Pacific Mall in Ontario.

"Vendors in Pacific Mall appear to operate largely with impunity, and requests for assistance from local law enforcement have reportedly gone unanswered," the said.

Explore further: US puts Alibaba back on 'notorious markets' blacklist

Related Stories

China's Alibaba sues vendors over selling counterfeits

January 5, 2017

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has filed a lawsuit against two vendors for allegedly selling counterfeit goods, it said, weeks after the US put its main platform on its "notorious markets" blacklist.

Recommended for you

Permanent, wireless self-charging system using NIR band

October 8, 2018

As wearable devices are emerging, there are numerous studies on wireless charging systems. Here, a KAIST research team has developed a permanent, wireless self-charging platform for low-power wearable electronics by converting ...

Facebook launches AI video-calling device 'Portal'

October 8, 2018

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant which is aiming for a slice of the smart speaker market that is currently dominated by Amazon and ...

Artificial enzymes convert solar energy into hydrogen gas

October 4, 2018

In a new scientific article, researchers at Uppsala University describe how, using a completely new method, they have synthesised an artificial enzyme that functions in the metabolism of living cells. These enzymes can utilize ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

24volts
not rated yet Jan 14, 2018
I thought Pirate Bay had been shut down last year.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.