China’s fasting growing retailer Pinduoduo has been blacklisted by the US Trade Representative for the first time over counterfeiting concerns.
The US has placed China’s third largest ecommerce platform Pinduoduo on its blacklist of “notorious markets” for intellectual property violations, marking the first time the Tencent-backed company has been flagged.
Its annual list reviews the intellectual property practices of trading partners from all over the world, highlighting those which it says repeatedly engage in counterfeiting and cause significant financial harm to US business.
Pinduoduo was launched just three years ago, shaking up one of the world’s largest retail markets currently dominated by Alibaba and JD.com, utilising a group buying model and targeting more rural consumers.
“We do not fully understand why we are listed . . . and we disagree with the report,” Pinduoduo said.
It added that it had introduced measures to penalise merchants selling counterfeit goods on its platform and worked closely with law enforcement to tackle abuse.
Its larger rival Alibaba also saw its domestic marketplace Taoboa placed on the list for the third year running, despite the US acknowledging its efforts to tackle counterfeit sellers.
The US Trade Representative said: “Although Alibaba has taken some steps to curb the offer and sale of infringing products, right holders, particularly SMEs, continue to report high volumes of infringing products and problems with using takedown procedures,”
Despite negotiations currently taking place in order to end a growing trade war between the two countries, China topped the US watch list of 36 countries it has accused of committing intellectual property violations.