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What to do if my product is sold illegally on Chinese e-commerce platforms?

* This FAQ was provided by the China IP SME Helpdesk, an EU-funded project which provides free technical assistance to EU SMEs on IPR-related issues in China:

The specific regulations related to the internet stipulate that if the IP-protected material is uploaded without the right holder’s consent, he/she may request in writing that the internet service provider (ISP) removes the infringing work, or removes the relevant website from the ISP’s network and disables access to the copyrighted material. This kind of written warning is known as a ‘take-down notice’. The general rule is that if the ISP removes the infringing content following a ‘take-down notice’ it will not be held liable for any further compensation. If however, the ISP knew or should have known about the infringement, the ISP will be held liable jointly with the person who uploaded the infringing content. In order to avoid liability, Chinese ISPs have developed systems to aid take-down notices. For a successful take down action, you will have to provide the ISP with the registration documents of your Chinese trade mark, patents or copyright.

E-commerce websites usually have dedicated systems for dealing with product infringing IPR. For Alibaba and Taobao, for example, the procedure is free of charge and can be completed within 1-2 weeks.

For further information on notice and take-down procedures, consult the China IP SME Helpdesk’s “How to Remove Counterfeit Goods from E-commerce Websites in China” guide – which also includes specific case studies for Alibaba and Taobao platforms: