A major retailer on Tencent’s WeChat and Baidu’s cloud storage service were new additions to the latest edition of online marketplaces that facilitate trafficking of pirated goods, alongside return citations for e-commerce giants Alibaba and Pinduoduo.
The four companies are among the largest on China’s internet, with a combined market value of more than $1 trillion, spotlighting the country’s difficulties dealing with the pervasive piracy problem. In nearly all instances, the piracy is the result of activity by third-party merchants on platforms and services operated by the four companies, which all have policies aimed at finding and stamping out such activity.
Despite those efforts, a major retailing partner of WeChat made its debut on the 2020 edition of the “Notorious Markets” list, which is published annually by the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and was released on Thursday. The USTR specifically pointed to the Weidian program, whose large presence on WeChat allows millions of online merchants to ply their wares to the popular messaging and social networking app’s more than 1 billion users.
“According to right holders, both the volume and proportion of counterfeits on this platform is so high that it can be difficult to find non-counterfeit products,” the report said. “Product listings are allowed to use words such as ‘yuandan,’ a Chinese term indicating that the product is made using the same materials and manufactured at the same facilities as genuine branded items, but without authorization from the brand owner.”
The report noted Weidian was responsive to requests to