US apparel group takes aim at Alibaba

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/10/8 22:03:39

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has called on the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) to relist Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in the "Notorious Market" category of 2016 for counterfeit goods, according to a filing the association sent to the USTR on Friday.

AAFA, which represents more than 1,000 world-famous household names, said counterfeits remain "rampant" on Alibaba's platforms and cited research by China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce as saying that 67 percent of the goods purchased on Taobao were counterfeit, said the filing.

Counterfeits also appear in about half of the results for the brands AAFA monitored, the filing noted.

"Despite numerous public statements that the company is taking the counterfeit problem seriously, we have yet to see improvements on Alibaba's platforms," AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein was quoted as saying in the filing, noting that American consumers and various brands are paying the price.

Alibaba had not responded to an interview request by the Global Times as of press time.

The USTR publishes its Notorious Market list every year to highlight marketplaces that "reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting."

Alibaba was removed from the list in 2012 for its "notable efforts" to better protect intellectual property rights.

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