China has urged the U.S. to stop politicizing economic and trade issues after the U.S. accused Alibaba's AliExpress and Tencent's WeChat of selling counterfeit and pirated goods.
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) office included the two companies on its annual "notorious markets" list on Thursday.
AliExpress and the WeChat e-commerce ecosystem have "reportedly facilitated substantial trademark counterfeiting," the USTR office said in a statement.
The office noted that the list serves to raise public and governmental attention on the issue but doesn't reflect findings of legal violations of intellectual property rights (IPR). The list involves 42 online markets and 35 physical markets.
AliExpress declined to comment. Tencent told Reuters that it strongly disagreed with the inclusion on the list and noted that the company actively deals with violations across its platforms.
China has always attached great importance to IPR protection, and has made marked achievements in recent years, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference on Friday.
He called the U.S. side to objectively and fairly comment on the effort and outcomes Chinese enterprises have made in IPR protection.
China has pledged to achieve stricter IPR protection, a high level of public satisfaction, and a greater IPR market value by 2025.
More than 110,000 patent applications were filed in China by foreign entities in 2021, an increase of 23 percent from a year ago, which demonstrated company's firm confidence in China's business environment and IPR protection, Wang said.