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The U.S. just dumped Alibaba back on its ‘notorious’ counterfeit markets blacklist

It’s a real setback for the Chinese e-commerce giant.

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Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Alibaba continues to argue that it is going to great lengths to curb the sale of counterfeit goods on its giant Taobao online marketplace. But those efforts are still apparently not enough for the U.S. government.

On Wednesday, the Office of the United States Trade Representative dumped Alibaba back on its Notorious Markets List, which “highlights prominent online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.” This comes four years after the USTR had removed the Chinese e-commerce company from the list after it made some progress in combating fakes.

“Right holders in the United States and internationally continue to report serious challenges to reducing high levels of counterfeit and pirated goods on Taobao,” the report reads. “Longstanding obstacles to understanding and utilizing basic IP enforcement procedures continue unabated.”

For Alibaba, the re-listing is a setback, as the $200 billion company continues to court Western brands to sell wares on its shopping platforms. In a statement, Alibaba Group President Mike Evans said the company was “very disappointed” by the decision and questioned whether it was “influenced by the current political climate” in the U.S., where President-elect Donald Trump has already taken a hard stance against the country’s current trade relationship with China.

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