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US 'notorious' branding slammed as 'unfair'

By Zhang Zhao  (China Daily)

08:36, January 10, 2013

The management of a Chinese market branded as "notorious" by the office of the US Trade Representative last month rejected the accusation as "unfair" because it has conducted "a thorough crackdown on counterfeiting operations" over the past year.

The US trade listing names "marketplaces that deal in infringing goods and services, facilitating and sustaining global piracy and counterfeiting", according to the USTR office, created in 1963 under the Kennedy administration. It has compiled the list since 2006.

For the third consecutive year, the Luohu Commercial Center in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, was named.

He Sheng'an, a manager at the center, said it is "a pity" that the market was listed again because management and authorities "have never ceased campaigns against counterfeit goods".

"The market has been transforming over the recent years, improving its business environment," he said. "Now it's unfair to link the market with fake goods only."

He said the Luohu center is shifting its focus from watches, wallets and leather products to traditional handicrafts and artwork, noting the number of shops selling leather products and watches that "might involve counterfeit goods" comprise 12 percent of the total.

"Management is trying its best to guide the shops not to undertake businesses that easily involve counterfeit goods," he said.

The trade office statement said the Luohu Commercial Center is "reportedly home to dozens of markets openly or clandestinely offering counterfeit or pirated goods. The display of signs prohibiting the sale of such goods has reportedly not served as an effective deterrent".

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