Washington, D.C. — On August 31, China’s National People’s Congress adopted legislation that it says will hold e-commerce platforms, including Alibaba, accountable for the posting and sale of fake goods on their sites. Once the law goes into effect on January 1st, failure by e-commerce platforms to remove infringing goods will result in fines ranging from $7,328 to $293,130.
“For the fight against counterfeit coins and bars, the new law is a significant development,” said PMANA president Scott Smith. “But, let’s not get our hopes up just yet,” he continued. According to Smith, there are still a lot of unknowns especially when it comes to fake American Eagles, bars, and other fake bullion. “The law is very broad so we have to wait and see how far-reaching it actually is. In the meantime, China could show just how serious they are about counterfeits and protecting consumers by imposing marking requirements on fake coins and bullion sold on these sites,” Smith said.
Although it is too early to judge the law’s effectiveness, Smith was quick to credit the Trump administration and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for China’s supposed policy shift. “By allowing the PMANA and other industries to participate in the USTR’s Special 301 Review and Notorious Markets List report, the Trump administration recognized just how egregious Alibaba’s practices were and put China on notice,” he said. “That’s something we have not seen in recent years.”
In the months leading up to the law’s implementation, the PMANA will conduct a comprehensive review of the new law, and release its findings and recommendations. In the meantime, we will continue to work with the USTR to address the flow of fake goods from China and ensure our industry’s best interests are represented in future trade negotiations.
Press release courtesy of the Precious Metals Association of North America.