Singapore’s Carousell and Shopee Named In US Report As Notorious Platforms For Piracy And Counterfeiting

Piracy is a serious problem. Being able to replicate content or products at scale means big intellectual property owners don’t get paid, and that affects their bottom line. A poor bottom line means jobs are at stake which is serious business all round.

However, we haven’t seen a CEO of a big company go out of business because of piracy. Intellectual property in some sense should be working harder for the little guys to incentivise creative, original work. On the flip side, it works to protect the little guy from the big corporations as well.

Google “Mickey Mouse Law” and you’d find a robust debate around copyright and intellectual property.

What’s actually surprising about the recent 2018 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, released on 25 April 2019, by The Office of the United States Trade Representative, is that two Singaporean companies, Carousell and Shopee are named as marketplaces where “a high percentage of branded goods sold on this network of platforms — between 40% and 80% — are counterfeits”

Whoa, it probably has got to do with all those fake LEGO toys floating around on their platforms.

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Here’s what the report says about these companies:

Formerly au.carousell, hk.carousell, tw.carousell, id.carousell, my.carousell, ph.carousell, sg.carousell, us.carousell. is a mobile e-commerce platform based in Singapore and popular throughout Southeast Asia. Reportedly, a high percentage of branded goods sold on this network of platforms—between 40% and 80%—are counterfeits. Right holders submitted that reporting IP infringement to is ineffective, because removing a listing can take up to five days, and the platform has no system in place to deter repeat offenders.

Also,, and is an online marketplace based in Singapore and serving the Southeast Asian market. Right holders report very high levels of counterfeits being sold on all of’s platforms and that the operators are uncooperative when right holders seek to protect their brands. For example, reportedly seeks more information from right holders than what it states on its platforms and acts with no urgency even after right holders provide the additional information. According to right holders, removals of infringing products can take up to two weeks.

It looks like Carousell is the lesser of the two evils named. Maybe now even the likes of Blackpink might be needed in greater quantity for Shopee.

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The main bugbear the report has with these two platforms seem to be the lack of response, or the speed, in which requests for takedowns are administered.

Overall, the 2018 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets report is a fascinating read which everyone should take a look considering that Switzerland is also on the list as well.

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