EU requests clarification from AliExpress
The European Commission has asked the Alibaba subsidiary, AliExpress, for a clarification. Brussels wants to know what the platform is doing to combat the trade in illegal products, including counterfeit medicines. AliExpress has been given three weeks to provide an explanation.
The European Commission has formally requested information from AliExpress under the Digital Services Act (DSA), as announced by the daily administration of the European Union.
Illegal products online
Alibaba’s platform must disclose “the measures it has taken to comply with obligations related to risk assessments and mitigation measures”. These measures should protect consumers online, “in particular with regard to the distribution of illegal products online such as fake medicines.”
What is AliExpress doing to combat the illegal trade of medicines?
The recently adopted DSA requires major tech companies to take more action against illegal and harmful content on their platforms. Recently, X (formerly Twitter), Meta, and TikTok received questions from Brussels about combating disinformation.
“The Digital Services Act is not just about hate speech, disinformation, and cyberbullying”, says EU’s Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton in the statement about AliExpress. “It is also there to ensure the removal of illegal or unsafe products sold in the EU via ecommerce platforms, including the growing number of fake and potentially life-threatening medicines and pharmaceuticals sold online.”
‘The DSA is also there to ensure the removal of illegal or unsafe products.’
AliExpress has until November 27 to provide the requested information, or else an investigation that could lead to fines may follow.
Alibaba in Europe
The Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has focused on its AliExpress platform to target European shoppers for years, enticing them with attractively priced products from Chinese factories. In recent years, the platform’s popularity has decreased, partly due to long shipping times and European regulations. Last June, Alibaba launched its online shopping platform Tmall in Europe, starting with Spain.