Alibaba Stays on US Government Piracy Blacklist

April 25, 2019 Updated: April 25, 2019

WASHINGTON—Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group remains on the U.S. government’s annual list of “notorious markets” that peddle counterfeit products.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said on April 25 that Alibaba’s on-line marketplace Taobao.com continues to sell “high volumes” of pirated goods, according to companies that say they’ve been victimized. It also said that Alibaba has “ineffective” procedures for removing counterfeit products.

The trade office also added Saudi Arabia to its yearly “priority watchlist” of countries that don’t 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 agreed last year to upgrade intellectual property protection as part of a renegotiated North America free trade agreement with the United States and Canada. Colombia updated its copyright law and improved intellectual property protection.

China, including its autonomous region Hong Kong, continues to account for vast majority of seizes of counterfeit goods by U.S. Customs, the trade office noted.

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

The world’s two biggest economies have slapped import taxes on $360 billion worth of each other’s goods. The United States has demanded China to end policies that hurt U.S. companies—including industrial subsidies, forced technology transfers, and market access barriers.

Talks to end the dispute are scheduled to resume next week in Beijing.

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