After blacklisting Alibaba Group’s taobao.com, the United States has added one more Chinese website to the notorious markets list this week. This time it is China’s third most used e-commerce website Pinduoduo.com which has faced the wrath of US Trade Representative’s Office. According to the sources, the US had added Chinese website on the blacklist for violating intellectual property rights apart from pirating technologies of its own.
In an annual review of USTR’s trading partners, it was found that the company is doing piracy. All of this tit for tat battle is going on costing both the countries loss of billions of dollars. To settle this, both the countries are going to meet one another in Beijing next week.
A USTR official informed reporters that China’s inclusion in the list “reflects the urgent need to remediate a range of intellectual property concerns”.
The official went on to say that more actions could be taken by US administration which will not allow the US to transfer technology to China considering widespread copyright infringement and increasing piracy and counterfeiting activities. Under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the US has levied tariffs of $250 billion worth on Chinese goods.
Pinduoduo’s Response on Blacklisting
A Pinduoduo’s spokesperson said in a statement that counterfeit goods are a worldwide problem and that they would work with trade associations, brand rights holders and regulators to keep the website clean and free from counterfeit products.
Meanwhile, the USTR in a report said, “Many of (the site) price-conscious shoppers are reportedly aware of the proliferation of counterfeit products on pindouoduo.com but are nevertheless attracted to the low-priced goods on the platform.”
Earlier, Alibaba’s Taobao was also added to the list for the same reason which is China’s biggest e-commerce platform. A spokesperson from Alibaba said that their inclusion was not right as they have maintained best-in-class standards which are acknowledged by most of the industry members.
Brion Tingler, the Head of external affairs at Alibaba said that they will continue to wage their war against counterfeit and that name should have been removed from the list.
More countries’ website under the scanner of USTR office
As many would believe that the US is blacklisting many of these Chinese websites due to political reasons, this, however, is not true. A total of 36 countries were under the watch list of trade partners which included Russian and India as well. A violation could lead to a break in bilateral engagement between the countries.
The US has removed Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, and Canada from the list considering their efforts to fight counterfeit products. The USTR official said that free trade zones could be rampant considering the amount of unrestricted counterfeiting.
The more barrier-free environment we develop, it will lead to more illegal activities like manufacturing and trading of counterfeit and pirated goods, an official from USTR said.
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