Thailand asks Facebook to help battle pirated goods

fb4Thailand’s government appealed last week to United States-based social media giant Facebook for help in cracking down on users selling fake and pirated goods on its platform, especially on Facebook Live, by providing information on sellers so that legal cases can be brought against them.

Thosapone Dansubutra, director-general to Intellectual Property Department, said the Thai government was asking Facebook’s Asia headquarters in Singapore for cooperation and assistance in tracking users violating intellectual property laws by selling pirated goods online on Facebook and Facebook-owned sites.  Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong, who is acting Minister of Digital Economy, invited Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to visit Thailand next year, when they met at the recent APEC summit in Peru.

The ministry has drafted a new version of the Computer Crimes Act that expands its scope in combatting online intellectual piracy. The law was redrafted to improve its record on fighting intellectual piracy. Thosapone said that he expected the new draft of the law would take effect next year.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that social media platforms, especially Facebook-owned Instagram, are more than just sites for sharing: in Asia they are marketplaces where increasing numbers of consumers go to shop. The spread of smartphones and high-speed internet have fueled this trend.

“About 30 percent of online sales in Southeast Asia—a region with 150 million digital consumers—occurred through social networks in 2016, estimates consulting firm Bain & Co. That compares with just 7 percent of the roughly 287 million internet users who are likely to buy from social networks in the U.S., according to London-based market-research firm GlobalWebIndex,” the Journal reported.

Facebook introduced a service last year called Shop that allows businesses that already have pages on Facebook to prominently display their products in the site’s news feed. Thailand, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Indonesia and Malaysia are among the top 10 markets for Shop.

The Asia-Pacific region also recorded the fastest growth in business advertising last year at 64 percent, compared with 62 percent in the U.S., the company said.

Aside from Facebook, the messaging app LINE has also launched a widely used shopping platform. LINE is extremely popular in Thailand, surpassing Whatsapp and WeChat, which are more popular in the U.S.