Alibaba Group contests US “Notorious Markets” listing

Retail group also signs new deal with Henkel

Alibaba is feeling continued pressure over the suspected sale of counterfeit goods being sold on its website.

The Chinese e-commerce giant is currently lobbying the US Trade Representative (USTR) not to include it on its annual list of “Notorious Markets”. The USTR produces a list of online and physical marketplaces known for selling pirated and counterfeit goods every year. It doesn’t carry any direct penalties, but inclusion on the list can hit consumer confidence and impact share prices.

Alibaba.com and the Alibaba-owned Taobao Marketplace were both included on the list in 2008. They were taken off in 2011 and 2012 respectively after significant efforts to clean up the sites. But when the USTR asked for the public’s input in its next list, at least three industry bodies responded with complaints about Alibaba, including The American Apparel and Footwear Association, The Trademark Working Group and Spanish association ANDEMA.

Reuters has reported that Eric Pelletier, Vice President, Head of International Government Affairs at Alibaba, has written to the USTR refuting the complaints made against Alibaba. He wrote: "We are confident that Alibaba Group's practices today conform to all US intellectual property laws. If anything, we have adopted a number of sophisticated, proactive measures that go well beyond the law's requirements and will continue to do so."

Meanwhile, Alibaba has also signed a deal with Henkel to exclusively sell its new product Schwarzkopf range on TMALL. TMALL is Alibaba’s e-commerce platform and a reputable online retail in China.

The new range will launch on 11 November – ready for this year’s “Double Eleven” event. The German company will also introduce a number of high-end products exclusively on TMALL, including the new Schwarzkopf Extra Care 8 Precious Oil hair care range.

The USTR’s decision on the “Notorious Markets” list is expected to be announced between December 2015 and March 2016.

Companies