European Commission opens formal proceedings against AliExpress

According to the analysis of the Risk Assessment Report submitted by the online e-commerce platform “AliExpress”, the European Commission has decided to open formal proceedings to determine whether the online e-commerce platform ‘’AliExpress’’ has breached the European Union Digital Services Act in the areas of risk management and mitigation, type of content published, internal complaint mechanism, transparency of advertising and access to data.

The proceeding against ‘’AliExpress’’ is based on the preliminary investigation into alleged violations of the European Union Digital Services Act, the analysis of the risk assessment report of August 2023 and the company’s responses to requests for information of 6 November 2023 and 18 January 2024.

According to the information provided by the Commissions, the procedure will focus on the verification of compliance with the obligations laid down in the European Union Digital Services Act in relation to the systemic risks of the distribution of illegal content and the real or foreseeable negative impact on the protection of consumers from certain products that pose a risk to health, access to pornographic material for minors and illegal content or deliberate manipulation.

It will also examine compliance with the ability of users to report illegal content and access publicly available data, ensure an efficient internal complaint handling system and transparency, and assess the reliability and completeness of information about merchants using ‘’AliExpress’’.

The European Union Digital Services Act applies to all online platforms within the Union. Considering the fact that “AliExpress” has monthly 104.3 million active users within the European Union, it is thus counted among the large online platforms that need to comply with the series of obligations prescribed by this Act.

If these suspicions, which led to the initiation of this procedure, are proven, it would mean that “AliExpress” violates ten articles of the European Union Digital Services Act.

With the formal opening of this procedure, the Commission will continue to collect evidence, it will also be able to take additional steps, such as imposing temporary measures to eliminate non-compliance.

The European Union Digital Services Act does not provide for a legal term within which the initiated procedure should be completed. Its duration will depend on the complexity of the case, the degree of cooperation on the part of “AliExpress”, as well as on the possibility of the company using the right of defense.

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