US notorious markets list includes AliExpress, WeChat again

The latest report by the US Trade Representative on notorious markets for counterfeit and pirated goods has included Alibaba's AliExpress service and social media platform WeChat once again, along with a host of other online platforms.

All told, the 2022 list identifies 39 online markets and 33 physical markets that according to the USTR "engage in, facilitate, turn a blind eye to, or benefit from substantial piracy or counterfeiting." Other online sources included in this year's update include Alibaba's Taobao, DHGate, Pinduoduo, IndiaMART and Shopee.

It also highlights seven physical markets located within China that increasingly use brick-and-mortar storefronts to support online sales of counterfeits. 

The list – which has been prepared since 2006 – still excludes North American sites that have been shown to carry counterfeits however, such as Amazon, Facebook, Shopify and Wish, and this is a perennial criticism of its scope.

Among the trends highlighted by the USTR include an increase in piracy sites using so-called 'bulletproof' Internet service providers (ISPs) – in other words those with terms of service that often explicitly advertise leniency in allowing customers to upload and distribute infringing content – to facilitate their activities.

This is making it increasingly difficult for right holders to remove infringing content, says the report. Meanwhile there are also concerns about the proliferation of 'piracy as a service' offerings that make it easier for would-be pirates to set up and monetise a fully functioning illicit operation.

When it comes to counterfeit goods, 2022 saw a continuation of the move towards sales facilitated by social commerce platforms, with many of these still lacking adequate anti-counterfeiting policies, processes, and tools.

That includes measures such as "identity verification, effective notice-and takedown procedures, proactive anti-counterfeiting filters and tools, and strong policies against repeat infringers," says the USTR.

This year's update examines the impact of online piracy on US workers, including the effect on their wages, residuals, pensions, and healthcare benefits.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), which represents more than 1,000 brands, welcomed the report but said the US "must not only set the international standard but must also practice what we preach by doing the same as we are asking of others to ensure real and effective checks and balances for online purchases, providing a template for international partners with much-needed proactive measures to try to stop counterfeits before they are even listed."

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top