The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), a government agency that reports to the US President, released its 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (The Notorious Markets List) this week and a few familiar Indian names made it to the list, unfortunately.
The list reportedly “highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.”
The list featured online and physical markets, with Snapchat making an unfortunate appearance on the list of online markets where counterfeit goods are rampant.
Snapdeal – Counterfeit Products On The Rise
With millions of users and a peak valuation of $6.5 billion, Snapdeal is one of the most popular e-commerce sites in India. After getting started in 2010, its only competitor for a while was Flipkart, but when Amazon entered the Indian market, trouble began for Snapdeal.
After nearly going bankrupt in 2017, the company bounced back, having more than 27 million unique buyers on its platform, even adding 6 million new buyers and thousands of sellers in the pandemic.
Alas, USTR’s investigation claims that the Indian e-commerce giant is a hotbed for counterfeit products.
The findings reported,
“Snapdeal, one of India’s largest e-commerce platforms, remains a concern for right holders who report that the volume of counterfeit products on this platform has increased over the past year.
According to a November 2018 survey, 37 percent of purchasers reported that they had received a counterfeit product from Snapdeal.
In July 2019, Snapdeal’s founders were accused of criminal conduct in India for selling counterfeit products there. Right holders have also sued Snapdeal for selling counterfeit goods.”
The 2019 case refers to the summoning of Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal in court in a case involving the selling of Hindustan Unilever products. Snapdeal countered by saying that it was merely a marketplace and not the seller of the products.
The 4 Physical Indian Markets That Made It To The List
Snapdeal wasn’t the only Indian name on the list. It had the company of 4 Indian shopping complexes on the Notorious Markets List.
Listing physical markets where the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods was in full swing, USTR named markets from Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.
Heera Panna, Mumbai
The report stated, “A major indoor market located at the heart of Mumbai, Heera Panna reportedly offers high quality counterfeit watches, footwear, apparel, accessories, and cosmetics. Right holders warn that counterfeit cosmetics sold at this market have health and safety risks.”
One of the oldest shopping centres in Mumbai, Heera Panna is known for its vast variety of shops, consisting of both small and big retailers.
“Locally known as “Fancy Market,” Kidderpore reportedly sells counterfeit consumer electronics, apparel, cosmetics, and pirated software and media, often at wholesale quantities,” said the report.
Palika Bazaar, New Delhi
Palika Bazaar is an underground market located beneath Delhi’s iconic Connaught Place. From food stalls to clothing shops and people hounding you asking if you’d like a “Tattoo? Tattoo?” on most corners, Palika Bazaar is a multi-level shopping market packed with people at all times.
The report stated, “This underground market in Delhi is reportedly well-known for the trade of counterfeit products. Many shoppers are reportedly students and other young people who want trendy products at cheap prices. The market is also a popular destination for tourists.”
Tank Road, Delhi
“Tank Road remains on the NML in 2020. Right holders report that this market continues to sell counterfeit products, including apparel and footwear.
Wholesale counterfeit goods are also reportedly supplied from this market to other Indian markets, including Gaffar Market and Ajmal Khan Road.
Right holders report that conducting enforcement actions at this location is expensive and challenging, and sellers often appear to have advanced knowledge of raids, limiting their effectiveness,” states the report.
Known for its clothing shops, Tank Road boasts of being a paradise for wholesale buying and selling of clothes in Karol Bagh in Delhi.
The Notorious Market List noted that nearly 92% of the counterfeit goods seized by US law enforcement agencies like ICE & CBP were found to have originated from China and Hong Kong but the problem continues to be global with countries like India, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates also being major points of origin of counterfeit and pirated goods.
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This post is tagged under: USTR, Snapdeal, counterfeit products, palika bazaar, Tank road, Kidderpore, Kolkata, Fancy Market, Heera Panna, Mumbai, Fake products online, online shopping, The Notorious Markets List India