Several Chinese companies have been tagged by the U.S. for their online intellectual piracy. The billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group has been on the list of name-and-shame of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative until last year when it took the name off the list. Jack Ma is the CEO of the Alibaba.com, a business-to-business company and has many connections with many influential people in the U.S.
Jack Ma also owns the Chinese online mall, Taobao. The site carried iPhone 5 long before it was released for sale. It is not hard to find inexpensive dummy versions of Apple products with its logo on Taobao site in China. Pirated movies that are sold online are another huge problem for the U.S. especially for Hollywood. Violations of foreign-owned trademarks are not just limited to Taobao. They are more prevalent in China and the subject is straining the U.S.-China business relationship. Between January to August of 2012, China sold $273 billion worth goods to the U.S. and bought only $70 billion worth of U.S. goods.
Alibaba appears to be taking steps to reduce internet piracy. It signed an agreement with the movie industry to require Chinese online advertisers to obtain a government issued license and to immediately investigate any reported piracy claims.