Alibaba Group's massive consumer-to-consumer website, Taobao, has been put back in the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office's 2016 blacklist of "notorious marketplaces", a move the Chinese tech giant suggested could be influenced by politics.
Taobao was previously put on the USTR blacklist, which identifies companies known for the sale of counterfeit products and for violations of intellectual property rights, in 2011. It was removed from the list in 2012 after it made efforts to address concerns of intellectual property rights holders and committed to reduce the number of pirated and counterfeit goods on its website.
However, right holders in the U.S. and elsewhere "continue to report serious challenges to reducing high levels of counterfeit and pirated goods on Taobao," USTR's report noted.
Taobao joined 20 other websites on this year's USTR's Notorious Markets List, most of which offered streaming services.