Communist China leads the world in the creation of counterfeit and pirated goods, according to a new report by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
Some 75 percent of the value of all counterfeit and pirated goods seized by U.S. customs in 2021 originated in China, according to the USTR’s “2022 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy,” (pdf) which was released on Jan. 31.
“The widespread trade in counterfeit and pirated goods harms the economic security of American workers and undermines our work to craft equitable and inclusive trade policy,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in an associated statement.
“The Notorious Markets List is an important tool that urges the private sector and our trading partners to take action against these harmful practices.”
The report identified 39 online markets and 33 physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.
Notably, the report found that WeChat, China’s most popular social media app, provided an e-commerce ecosystem that facilitated the distribution and sale of counterfeit products to users throughout the world.
“WeChat, together with its China-facing ‘sister app’ Weixin, continues to be regarded by right holders as one of the largest platforms for counterfeit goods in China,” the report said.
Likewise, the report said, WeChat parent company Tencent had failed to implement corrective measures to prevent the illicit trade.
“Tencent’s efforts to combat counterfeiting with respect to the WeChat e-commerce ecosystem have been inadequate,” the report said.
“Many counterfeit sellers face only brief suspensions, and sellers with terminated accounts can re-register for new accounts with ease.”
The report also asserts that WeChat has failed to meaningfully cooperate with trademark and copyright holders on litigation, and that the company has given “less cooperation” than other companies who adhere to the same privacy and data laws.
The United States is not alone in its struggle with the flood of illicit goods from communist China.
A report published in March 2022 found that China was the largest source of counterfeit and pirated goods to the European Union (EU) as well.
That report described China, Russia, and Turkey as highly active in the provision of counterfeit tobacco and car parts to the EU. In one case, the report noted, Belgian customs officials confiscated a record 126 million counterfeit cigarettes in and around Antwerp, all of which originated from Asia.
USTR first identified notorious markets in 2006 and has published the annual Notorious Markets List since 2011 to increase public awareness and help market operators and governments prioritize intellectual property enforcement efforts that protect American businesses and their workers.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times