One group from the United States wants the American government to return Taobao to the list of “Notorious Markets for Counterfeit Goods”. Taobao is part of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
According to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, counterfeit products remain commonplace on Taobao, even three years after it was removed from the list.
The association is pleading with the United States Trade Representative to put Alibaba back on its list of marketplaces that allegedly commit large amounts of copyright piracy and the counterfeiting of products.
Alibaba has a long history of offering consumers phony goods. Its website Taobao was first added to the counterfeits good list in 2011. The website was taken off the list one year later, as Alibaba cooperated with owners of trademarks to remove knock-off goods from the website.
However, the apparel association is not satisfied with the job Taobao did.
The president of the association Juanita Duggan says, “Our members face enormous difficulty working with Taobao in solving the problem of counterfeits, meanwhile illegal merchandise continues to proliferate. The sheer volume of counterfeits on the site as reported by our members, along with the company's unwillingness to make serious reforms is behind the group's decision to call for Taobao's reinstatement to the list.”
Association members are citing the long and tedious process that Taobao utilizes in responding to requests to remove counterfeit products. Alibaba is claiming that they are more than willing to meet with the association in order to work together to solve the problem, but the association says that representatives from the Chinese e-commerce platform have been refusing for several months.
Earlier this year, Alibaba was sued by French luxury products company Kering SA for allegedly profiting from the sale of counterfeit goods of their products.
The American Apparel and Footwear Association represents brands including: American Eagle, Jockey, Macy's and Abercrombie and Fitch.