China has responded to the United States’ latest list of “notorious” counterfeit goods merchants, calling it lacking in objectivity and solid evidence.
On Thursday, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its latest review of “notorious” online and physical markets for fake and pirated goods for 2021. AliExpress and WeChat are “two significant China-based online markets that reportedly facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting.”
The Ministry of Commerce in Beijing said on Friday that China disagrees with the report’s conclusions and expresses its firm opposition to this approach by the United States.
The report highlights that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) seizures of China’s counterfeit and pirated goods in 2020 showed that those goods directly from China or shipped through Hong Kong account for 79% of all counterfeit goods seized at the U.S. border by volume and 83% by value.
Apart from AliExpress and WeChat, several Chinese e-commerce service providers such as Alibaba’s Taobao, Baidu Inc. cloud-storage service Baidu Wangpan and DHgate.com have been “notorious” markets for a long time hold their positions on the 2021 list. Pinduoduo, one of China’s largest online retailers, has remained on the USTR’s list since its first listing in 2019.
Besides online providers, nine Chinese brick-and-mortar marketplaces that manufacture, distribute, and sell counterfeit goods were also reported.
The USTR’s report notes that global counterfeiting costs the U.S. economy some $29.2 billion annually.
CBP seized a shipment that contained 13,586 counterfeit designer products arriving in a containerized cargo shipment from China on Nov. 9, 2021.
CBP officers discovered handbags, tote bags, shoulder bags, crossbody bags, backpacks, shirts, and pants bearing numerously registered and recorded trademarks, such as Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, YSL, and Louis Vuitton. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of around $30 million.
CBP recorded 26,503 counterfeit goods seizures in 2020, valued at an MSRP of over $1.3 billion. Every day, over $3.6 million in counterfeit items are seized.