China is a world leader in counterfeit and pirated goods, the office of United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai said in a report on Tuesday that identified wechatthe most popular chat application in the Asian country, as “one of the largest platforms for fake products”.
“Counterfeit and pirated goods from China, along with goods transshipped to Hong Kong, accounted for 75% of the value of counterfeit and pirated goods seized by US Customs and Border Protection in 2021,” the report added. .
The US government identified 39 online markets and 33 physical markets who, according to the report, participate in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.
“This includes continuing to identify the WeChat e-commerce ecosystem as one of the largest platforms for counterfeit products in China,” he added.
WeChat is the most popular chat app in China, with more than 1 billion active users, and is owned by the Chinese technology company Tencent Holdings Limited.
The report contends that WeChat provides an e-commerce ecosystem that facilitates the distribution and sale of counterfeit products to users of the platform.
For this reason, Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent are listed as complicit in hacking.
The update of theMost Notorious Counterfeit and Piracy Markets Report” details a series of complicit companies in the piracy of physical and digital products, including cultural products such as movies or music.
Among them are the aforementioned Chinese companies, two of the main technological powers of the Asian country.
Although Tencent describes it as a “social communication tool and information publishing platform,” WeChat “provides an e-commerce ecosystem that facilitates the distribution and sale of counterfeit products to users of the general WeChat platform,” states states. Joined.
All this thanks to functionalities such as the short video of the WeChat “channels” to advertise counterfeit products directly to consumerswho can purchase them through an existing “shopping cart” feature in the app.
“Tencent’s efforts to combat counterfeiting with respect to the WeChat e-commerce ecosystem have been inadequate,” the report states.
The United States also targets the group Alibaba and its global platform, AliExpress, as well as the also Chinese Taobao, one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world.
Both are e-commerce platforms that connect consumers around the world with sellers based in China.
Although Alibaba “is known for its anti-counterfeiting processes and systems that are among the best in the e-commerce industry,” the report notes, the reality is quite different and there is “an omnipresence of counterfeit products on the platform”.
“AliExpress is a dominant distributor of counterfeit products in wholesale quantities for online marketplaces in the United States and other countries,” he says.
This is all due to flaws such as the continued lack of effective vetting of vendors and checks on repeat infringers.
The Office of the US Trade Representative, headed by Katherine Tainotes that while the sale and distribution of counterfeit and pirated goods online is “a growing concern,” physical markets continue to allow substantial trade in counterfeit and pirated items.
Both copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting “cause significant financial losses for US rights holders and legal businesses, undermine crucial US comparative advantages in innovation and creativity to the detriment of US workers, and pose risks significant for the health and safety of consumers,” the report lists.
This study is intended to motivate appropriate action by the private sector and governments to reduce piracy and counterfeiting.
With information from Reuters and EFE
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