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China must restrict, record e-commerce firms breaking counterfeit rules: regulator

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China must establish a system to record and restrict e-commerce firms that break rules on counterfeit goods, said the chief of the country's commercial regulator on Monday, responding to a question on the sale of fakes on Alibaba Group Holding's websites.

[BEIJING] China must establish a system to record and restrict e-commerce firms that break rules on counterfeit goods, said the chief of the country's commercial regulator on Monday, responding to a question on the sale of fakes on Alibaba Group Holding's websites.

The cost of breaking existing rules about selling counterfeit goods online is too low, said Zhang Mao, head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), at a news conference during China's annual parliamentary session in Beijing.

If punishments are made more severe then the market will improve and fake goods will disappear, Mr Zhang said, adding that e-commerce is growing faster than regulations and laws can keep up, and firms and the government should cooperate more.

Alibaba and the SAIC were engaged in an unusually public dispute in late January over the sale of fake goods through Alibaba, though the regulator's "white paper" which sparked the standoff was quickly retracted.

REUTERS