Chinese tech giant Tencent said Friday it
strongly disagreed with a US decision to add its WeChat app to a government
list of “notorious” markets known for trade in counterfeit goods.
WeChat and e-commerce site AliExpress were among those put on the list by
the US Trade Representative (USTR) on Thursday spotlighting markets Washington
says “engage in, facilitate, turn a blind eye to, or benefit from substantial
piracy or counterfeiting”.
The 2021 Notorious Markets List flagged 42 online markets and 35 physical
markets globally, including other web platforms such as China’s Baidu Wangpan.
“We strongly disagree with the decision made by the USTR,” Tencent said in
response, adding that the company was committed to working to resolve the
WeChat, a ubiquitous platform in China, had more than 1.2 billion active
users around the world in 2021 and Tencent added that it takes a
“comprehensive approach” to fighting counterfeiting and infringement on its
The Chinese commerce ministry said the US decision was based on “neither
conclusive evidence nor sufficient proof, and is irresponsible and not
In a statement it said China did not “recognise the conclusions of the
report” and that the country had made “continuous improvements” in its
intellectual property protection system in recent years.
E-commerce titan Alibaba, which owns AliExpress, did not reply to AFP
requests for comment.
The USTR said WeChat is “viewed as one of the largest platforms for
counterfeit goods in China”, citing “weaknesses” in its seller vetting and
mild punishments against offenders.
It added that there has been a “significant increase” in fake goods sold on
China “continues to be the number one source of counterfeit products in the
world”, the USTR said.(AFP)