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Alibaba’s Taobao Again on US Blacklist for Counterfeit Products

Alibaba’s Taobao Again on US Blacklist for Counterfeit ProductsAlibaba’s Taobao Again on US Blacklist for Counterfeit Products

The US trade representative put Alibaba’s Taobao on its blacklist for the second year in a row over suspected counterfeits sold on the shopping platform, a move the Chinese e-commerce giant said did not reflect its IP-protection efforts.

Alibaba’s hugely popular Taobao Marketplace is one of 25 online markets that along with 18 physical markets made the USTR’s annual list of the world’s most “notorious markets” for sales of pirated and counterfeit goods, Fortune reported.

Taobao, China’s largest ecommerce marketplace and its third-most popular website, stayed off the list from 2012 to 2015, but was included in 2016 and now again in 2017.

While Taobao’s inclusion does not carry any direct penalties, it is a blow to Alibaba’s efforts to shed perceptions that its sites are riddled with fakes and that its anti-piracy policies are inadequate.

The agency acknowledged Alibaba’s efforts to curb the sale of infringing products on Taobao, but said the prevalence of infringing listings and sales remained a challenge.

Alibaba defended itself saying it had made using its IP protection programs easier, which led to an 11% increase in registries, and it also noted a 25% drop in takedown requests as it removed infringing listings even before they reached its marketplaces.

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