China opposes Taobao's piracy market label

China "greatly concerned" U.S. has left Taobao on notorious market list and urges it to consider their efforts against piracy, report says.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

China is "greatly concerned and strongly opposed" to the United States' listing of Taobao--the country's largest consumer e-commerce site--as a market for piracy.

According to a Reuters report on Wednesday, the U.S. has kept Alibaba Group's Taobao site on its "notorious markets" list, which was released last month, for offering a wide range of copyright infringing materials. However, China has rebuked its American counterparts for using "ambiguous terms" and lack of "conclusive evidence" to keep the site, as well as other Chinese businesses, on its blacklist, the report stated.

"When referring to Chinese businesses, we noticed that the United States' notorious market list would use terms like 'alleged' and 'according to industry information'," Shen Danyang, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said in the report.

"With ambiguous terms and no conclusive evidence or detailed analysis, this is very irresponsible and not objective."

China also believe the U.S. should take into account efforts made by Chinese companies to fight piracy. "We urge the U.S. to take into account China's effort for IPR (intellectual property rights) protection and the progress made on it and to make a more comprehensive, more objective, more fair evaluation," Shen said. 

However, a spokesperson from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) agency stood by its decision on Taobao. She said the decision was made based on information collected from companies and other interested parties last year, as part of a regular review of Internet and physical marketplaces where counterfeit and pirated goods were sold. 

It's not all bad news for Chinese companies, though, as the USTR had removed Baidu from the blacklist after it had struck a deal with Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony to pay owners for copyrighted material available on a social music platform last July.

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