US report says Snapdeal is ‘notorious market’

One of India’s biggest e-commerce platforms – Snapdeal, along with four other Indian shopping complexes has featured in the 2020 ‘Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy’ issued by the Office of US Trade Representative.

Snapdeal, according to the report, has recorded an increase in the volume of counterfeit products.

“According to a November 2018 survey, 37% of purchasers reported that they had received a counterfeit product from Snapdeal,” the report stated.

Arguably the biggest e-commerce platform in India after Amazon and Flipkart, Snapdeal has already had a history of counterfeit and fake products being marketed on its website, as well as sellers with record of marketing fake products being allowed to go unpunished.

Noting this, the Office of the United States Trade Representative has published further details in a report titled ‘2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy’. The report brings to light the role of e-commerce platforms in allowing fake products, and acts of counterfeiting and piracy to be promoted in various countries.

Highlighting Snapdeal’s position, the report said, “According to a November 2018 survey, 37 per cent 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 list of ‘notorious’ markets, features Heera Panna in Mumbai, Kidderpore in Kolkata and Palika Bazaar and Tank Road in Delhi.

Notably, Palika Bazaar in Delhi replaced Millennium Centre in Aizawl, Mizoram to figure in the list of ‘notorious’ markets for 2020.

The report also added that the four listed ‘notorious’ Indian shopping complexes sell counterfeit products, including footwear, apparel, accessories, and cosmetics.

“Many shoppers are reportedly students and other young people who want trendy products at cheap prices,” the report said about Palika Bazaar.

The Office of US Trade Representative said that this year’s report for the first time has a section to address the role of internet platforms in assisting the importation of counterfeit and pirated goods into America.

“Holding intellectual property rights violators accountable and ensuring that American innovators and creators have a full and fair opportunity to use and profit from their work is critical for both physical and online markets,” said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.