With approximately 70% share of the market and 500 million registered users, the go-to online retailer fir Chinese is not Amazon or eBay, but rather Alibaba‘s services Taobao and Tmall, two online platforms for C2C and B2C respectively that have captured China’s e-commerce market and contributed greatly to its online infrastructure and retail markets.
Many in the US, however, are not so amused by rampant intellectual property violations by sellers on the platform. Since December 2011, Taobao has been listed on the USTR’s “notorious markets” list, a register of companies suspected of piracy, for allegedly selling fake goods and brands on a regular basis. Alibaba has since taken note of this, and has attempted to combat piracy on Taobao this year. Yet until now their pleas had fallen on deaf ears.
Alibaba Group is partially owned by Yahoo, though the Hangzhou-based company bought back a majority of its shares earlier this year.
Though Taobao still has a bad reputation among apparel manufacturers, there may be some hopeful signs on the horizon. The Motion Picture Association of America is now praising Taobao for its efforts to combat piracy this year, stating that they were “optimistic” that Taobao will continue to accept their measures to combat piracy.
The “notorious market” list will be released later this year, and so far the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) have not submitted Taobao to the list as they had before. Those who remain unconvinced are organizations such as the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), who cite Taobao as their number one source of anxiety in China.