BEIJING — China is “greatly concerned and strongly opposed” to the United States’ listing of Taobao, the country’s largest consumer e-commerce website, as a notorious market for piracy, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday. Last month, the United States kept Alibaba Group’s Taobao unit on the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) notorious markets list for offering a wide range of copyright infringing products. “When referring to Chinese businesses, we noticed that the United States notorious market list would use terms like ‘alleged’ and ‘according to industry information,’” Shen Danyang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, told a news conference. “With ambiguous terms and no conclusive evidence or detailed analysis, this is very irresponsible and not objective,” Shen said. China believes the United States should take into account the efforts made by Chinese companies to fend off piracy. “We urge the U.S. to take into account China’s effort for IPR protection and the progress made on it and to make a more comprehensive, more objective, more fair evaluation,” Shen said.
The USTR removed Baidu Inc, China’s largest search engine, from its list in a nod to the firm’s efforts to clean up its music offerings. China has intensified efforts to protect intellectual property in the country over the past few years. However, results have been mixed, because enforcement remains weak and inconsistent, and bootleg operators have been inventive in finding new ways to copy and sell counterfeits and knock-offs.