E-commerce platform Taobao, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, which also owns a stake in e-commerce platform Lazada, has been once again listed as a notorious market by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
This designation is part of USTR's 2016 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets report released on December 21.
According to USTR, the Notorious Markets List highlights prominent online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting, which “cause significant financial losses for rights holders and legitimate businesses, undermine critical US comparative advantages in innovation and creativity to the detriment of American workers, and can pose significant risks to consumer health and safety.”
A goal of the list is to motivate appropriate action by private sector owners and operators, as well as governments, to combat piracy and counterfeiting.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association, which represents US apparel, footwear, and other sewn products companies and their suppliers competing on the global market, commended the USTR for its decision.
"Today's action shines a renewed spotlight on the considerable concerns we and others continue to see on Alibaba platforms," said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. "In the coming year, we will work with our members, USTR, and other government agencies, outside stakeholders, and Alibaba itself to seek sustained improvements that lead to the permanent removal of counterfeits from these online platforms."
Two Vietnam-related platforms named on the list are muaban.net, operated by Ho Chi Minh City-based Mua Ban JSC, and Ninh Hiep market in Hanoi.
In April, Alibaba Group Holding Limited announced buying a controlling stake in Lazada. The transaction is expected to help brands and distributors around the world that already do business on Alibaba’s platform, as well as local merchants, to access the Southeast Asian consumer market.