Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Alibaba’s Taobao stays on US’ piracy blacklist


Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) remains on the US government’s annual list of “notorious markets” that peddle counterfeit products.

The Office of the US Trade Representative on Thursday said that Alibaba’s online marketplace (淘寶) continues to sell “high volumes” of pirated goods, according to companies that say they have been victimized.

It also said that Alibaba has “ineffective” procedures for removing counterfeit products.

In a statement, Alibaba said that “we do not agree” with the trade representative’s decision.

Alibaba added that even the US report recognized its efforts to work with companies to protect intellectual property.

“We will continue to wage this fight against counterfeiters,” the company said.

The trade office also added Saudi Arabia to its yearly “priority watchlist” of countries that do not adequately protect intellectual property, citing its failure to shield pharmaceuticals from counterfeit competition, and the continued piracy of movies and television shows on the BeoutQ service.

Also on the priority list this year are Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Canada and Colombia this year were removed from the blacklist.

Canada last year agreed to upgrade intellectual property protection as part of a renegotiated North America free-trade agreement with the US and Canada.

Colombia updated its copyright law and improved intellectual property protection.

China, including Hong Kong, continues to account for vast majority of seizes of counterfeit goods by US Customs, the trade office said.

The watchlist and notorious markets blacklist are published annually and are not directly connected to a year-long trade dispute between the US and China.

The world’s two biggest economies have slapped import taxes on US$360 billion of each other’s goods.

They are fighting over US allegations that China steals trade secrets, coerces US and other foreign firms to hand over sensitive technology and unfairly subsidizes its own tech companies in an aggressive push to supplant US technological dominance. Talks to end the dispute are scheduled to resume next week in Beijing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday vowed to abolish subsidies to firms that impede fair competition — addressing a major bone of contention in US trade talks.

Xi repeated past promises to lower tariffs, increase imports and open up more sectors of China’s economy to foreign businesses.

He also reiterated that China would not engage in competitive devaluation of its currency — another cause of US anger.

Additional reporting by AFP

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