Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is back on the US’s “notorious markets” list over counterfeit goods sales, BBC reports. Alibaba was taken off the list four years ago, but US authorities say the firm’s online platform Taobao is used to sell “high levels” of fake goods.
The company has rejected the allegations, insisting it polices its market place better than in the past. The firm also suggested the “current political climate” in the US might be why they are back on the list.
US President-elect Donald Trump had, during his campaign, repeatedly accused Chinese firms of stealing intellectual property. Alibaba Group President Michael Evans said he was “disappointed” by the decision and questioned whether it was “based on actual facts or was influenced by the current political climate.”
The Chinese online retailer and its market place Taobao have long been accused of being a platform for counterfeit goods. Taobao said earlier this year it had tightened controls on its sale of luxury goods, requiring sellers to show proof of authenticity.
In May though, Alibaba was suspended from the International Anti Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) watchdog over piracy concerns. More than 250 members, including Gucci America and Michael Kors, had threatened they would leave the IACC in protest at Alibaba’s membership.
Alibaba – by far China’s biggest online retailer – floated on the New York Stock Exchange in September 2014 and broke records by raising $25bn.