The list comprises entities that allegedly sell or facilitate the sale of counterfeit goods.
The list identifies 42 online sites and 35 physical stores, including e-commerce platforms run by the firms.
“This includes identifying for the first time AliExpress and the WeChat e-commerce ecosystem, two significant China-based online markets that reportedly facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting,” the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office said in a statement on its website.
AliExpress is owned by Alibaba and WeChat is operated by Tencent.
Reacting to this, a spokesperson for Tencent told BBC that the company disagrees with the decision of the USTR. He noted that the company had “invested significant resources” into protecting intellectual property rights on its platforms.
Founded in 1998 with its headquarters in Shenzhen, China, Tencent is a world-leading internet and technology company that develops innovative products and services.
The company also publishes some of the world’s most popular video games and other high-quality digital content.
Alibaba, on the other hand, is a Chinese multinational technology company which specialises in e-commerce, retail, internet and technology.
It was founded in 1999 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang to provide consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-business (B2B) sales services via web portals, electronic payment services, shopping search engines and cloud computing services.
It also owns and operates a diverse portfolio of companies around the world in numerous business sectors.
According to the USTR, the “notorious markets” list is aimed at protecting American businesses and workers from the effects of cheap counterfeit goods that are usually manufactured outside the US.
“The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods undermines critical U.S. innovation and creativity and harms American workers.
“This illicit trade also increases the vulnerability of workers involved in the manufacturing of counterfeit goods to exploitative labor practices, and the counterfeit goods can pose significant risks to the health and safety of consumers and workers around the world”, USTR’s spokesperson, Ambassador Katherine Tai said in the statement.
USTR also revealed that China-based online markets Baidu Wangpan, DHGate, Pinduoduo, and Taobao continue to be listed, as well as nine physical markets located within China that are known for their manufacture, distribution, and sale of counterfeit goods.
Jumia Nigeria Appoints Sunil Natraj as CEO, Outlines Ambitious Expansion Plans
Former Jumia Ghana CEO to Lead E-Commerce Giant as Massimiliano Spalazzi Steps Down
Jumia Nigeria, a prominent player in the e-commerce sector, has announced the appointment of Sunil Natraj as its new CEO.
Natraj, the former CEO of Jumia Ghana, will take the helm of the e-commerce business in January 2024, succeeding Massimiliano Spalazzi, who has been with Jumia Group for 11 years and will be stepping down in December 2023.
The announcement came during a media parley held in Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria, with Francis Dufay, the CEO of Jumia Group, unveiling Natraj as the new leader.
Natraj expressed Jumia’s commitment to becoming a truly Nigerian company and continuing the initiatives started by Spalazzi.
“We want to continue what Spalazzi started,” Natraj stated, emphasizing Jumia’s vision to expand its presence beyond Lagos.
He disclosed plans to extend operations to additional Nigerian cities, with Akure and Ilorin on the radar and a focus on cities en route to Ibadan, Warri, and Benin in the first quarter of 2024.
The overarching strategy is to create a comprehensive network covering the entire country.
Dufay outlined the ambitious goal of targeting cities with populations exceeding 20,000 people, citing successful precedents in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal.
He acknowledged the challenges faced by Jumia, including a workforce reduction in Q4 2022 and a 73% cut in advertising budgets in Q3 2023.
Despite the hurdles, Dufay highlighted Nigeria as Jumia’s largest market and affirmed the company’s determination to navigate and thrive in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.
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Flutterwave Expands Financial Frontier: Acquires Money Transfer Licenses for 13 U.S. States
Africa’s Leading Payments Tech Firm Facilitates Faster, Affordable, and Secure Transfers between the U.S. and Africa
In a significant move towards advancing financial connectivity between Africa and the United States, Flutterwave, Africa’s premier payments technology company, has proudly announced its acquisition of money transfer licenses for 13 key U.S. states.
This strategic expansion aims to expedite, streamline, and secure the transfer of money from the U.S. to Africa and back.
The states covered by the newly acquired licenses include Arizona, Arkansas, Maryland, Michigan, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
These additions, combined with Flutterwave’s existing partnerships and licenses, now empower the company to serve customers seamlessly across 29 states in the U.S.
Money transfer licenses, issued by state regulators, play a pivotal role in enabling financial technology companies like Flutterwave to engage in the transmission of money.
The acquisition of these licenses fortifies Flutterwave’s commitment to regulatory compliance, safety, and the soundness of its services.
Stephen Cheng, Executive Vice President, Global Expansion and Partnerships at Flutterwave, emphasized the significance of this milestone.
“Getting these licenses expands our regulatory footprint, demonstrates our ability to deliver services with safety and soundness, and fosters trust among regulators, partners, and customers,” stated Cheng.
“We’re growing and are committed to servicing customer needs in as many geographies as possible, particularly with a significant African diaspora.”
Flutterwave’s popular solutions, such as the Send App, are set to benefit greatly from this expansion.
The Send App facilitates easy and secure money transfers between the U.S. and Africa, catering to both individual users and enterprises that rely on Flutterwave for global last-mile payouts.
“Sending money between the U.S. and Africa has been challenging for the African diaspora. These licenses pave the way for Flutterwave to make the Send App available to the African diaspora in the U.S., offering a super user-friendly money remittance experience,” explained Olugbenga Agboola, Founder and CEO at Flutterwave.
“Our mission is to connect Africa to the world and the world to Africa by simplifying payments for endless possibilities. These licenses move us one step closer to our vision, and we will continue to expand this feat to ensure coverage for all states in the U.S. and beyond.”
Flutterwave remains steadfast in its commitment to providing accessible remittance services across the U.S. and has outlined plans for further expansion of licensing coverage in the near future.
This ambitious endeavor reflects the company’s dedication to fostering financial inclusion and creating a seamless financial bridge between continents.
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