Pinduoduo and Taobao are again included in USTR’s annual blacklist

The U.S. Trade Representative Office (USTR) recently released the 2019 Review of romantic Markets for counter-working and Piracy report on 2019, china’s two major e-commerce platforms, Pinduoduo and Taobao, once again appeared in the “blacklist of global notorious markets in 2019” (NML) due to issues such as intellectual property protection, DHGate, another Chinese e-commerce company, is also among them.

The US Trade Representative office said in the report that since it was included in the NML list in 2018, Pinduoduo has taken a series of actions to reduce counterfeit goods, including putting a considerable proportion of employees into the anti-counterfeiting work, launching the brand care plan, and releasing the English version of the intellectual property protection Portal.

These measures have already brought satisfactory false-free rates to some right holders. However, there are also other rights holders who point out that there are still many fake products of some brands. In addition, rights holders also pointed out that Pinduoduo lacks clear and transparent intellectual property law enforcement policies, which indicates that although its current intellectual property law enforcement system is developing in the right direction, but it is not enough to deal with counterfeit products on its platform.

Pinduoduo has also initiated some anti-counterfeiting policies, including the compensation policy of “1 for 10 for 1”, which is commendable. However, given the reported proliferation of counterfeit goods, it is too early to measure the full impact of these efforts.

The US Trade Representative office encourages pinduo to continue to improve its intellectual property law enforcement system, formulate strict and transparent law enforcement policies, strengthen cooperation with rights holders and law enforcement departments, and realize offline law enforcement, to address the concerns of rights holders.

Taobao was first listed in NML in 2016. In the 2018 annual report, the US Trade Representative office made a series of recommendations for Taobao to curb infringing products on its platform. Since then, Alibaba has said that Taobao has taken a series of actions to implement the recommendations and address other concerns of rights holders.

However, according to rights holders, Taobao is still one of the largest sources of counterfeit sales in China. Some rights holders praised Taobao’s improved response time and policies, but still complained that Taobao provided too many fakes for sale and some anti-counterfeiting measures lacked transparency. The US Trade Representative office said that it will continue to pay attention to a series of actions implemented by Taobao, and whether it is obviously effective in solving the proliferation of counterfeit goods.

The office of the US Trade Representative said that in the past year, DHgate has taken a series of measures to reduce the number of counterfeit goods on its platform. For example, increased penalties for counterfeit goods sellers, automated collection of global brand information, launched an image recognition system, and added many brand-related keywords to its counterfeit filtering system.

Nevertheless, DHgate was included in the NML list in 2019 because fakes on its platform are still everywhere. The US Trade Representative’s office urged DHgate to continue to improve its seller review, merchandise shelving policy, reporting procedures and proactive monitoring to significantly reduce the availability of counterfeit goods.


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