Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social me Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social media and e-commerce. Get in touch with him via Twitter @francistan or Email [email protected].
The U.S. Trade Representative identified Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, and Taobao, China’s biggest e-commerce website, as “notorious markets” linked to sales of pirated and counterfeit goods.
According to the Business Week report, Baidu links to websites that sell items without the copyright holders’ permission. On the other hand, Taobao is being used by outside merchants to sell counterfeit items, with minimal filtering and intervention.
The two Chinese companies were among more than 30 Internet and physical markets worldwide identified by the U.S. Trade Representatives as “notorious markets” for facilitating the illegal trade of goods or materials protected by copyright or patents. Other websites listed include torrentz.com; ThePirateBay, 91.com and Rutracker based in Russia, according to the statement. The U.S. agency said the list was not a legal finding but an effort to call attention to abuses and encourage governments to stop them.
In a written statement, an Alibaba spokesman, John Spelich, said: “We appreciate the USTR’s acknowledgment of our ongoing efforts to work with brand owners in protecting their intellectual property rights and we will continue to work closely with brand owners and others to further enhance the level of trust and integrity in our online marketplaces for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
China is the leading source of fake and counterfeit goods despite repeated government crackdowns, with the latest one targeting online piracy to strengthen Internet IPR.
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