The EU investigates AliExpress for possible DSA violations

With over 104 million reported users in Europe, AliExpress is under scrutiny to ensure compliance with DSA regulations to protect consumers, particularly minors, from harmful or illegal content.


The European Commission is investigating whether AliExpress, an online commerce platform operated by Chinese tech giant Alibaba, violated the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA). The Commission will examine potential lapses in various areas, including risk management, content moderation, complaint handling, advertising transparency, and data access.

The investigation aims to ensure that AliExpress complies with these regulations and safeguards consumers, especially minors, from harmful or illegal content and products. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for ‘Europe fit for the digital age’, underscored that under the DSA, platforms with significant user bases, such as AliExpress, which has reported 104 million users in Europe, must adhere to specific content moderation rules to mitigate systemic risks for society.

Concerns have been raised regarding AliExpress’s efforts to combat the spread of defective content, including fake medicines, and the role of influencers in promoting non-compliant products through the platform’s Affiliate Programme. The Commission also expressed worries about the accessibility of pornographic material on AliExpress and the effectiveness of mitigation measures.

The inquiry will also scrutinise AliExpress’s transparency regarding recommendation algorithms, advertisement repositories, compliance with illegal content, and complaint reporting requirements.

The Commission opened the formal investigation following its analysis of AliExpress’s transparency report and responses to official requests for information. It will gather evidence through various means, including additional information requests and interviews, to determine whether AliExpress has violated the DSA. There is no specific timeframe for concluding the investigation, which depends on factors such as case complexity and cooperation.

Why does it matter?

The investigation into AliExpress underscores the EU’s commitment to upholding consumer rights and ensuring digital platforms adhere to stringent regulations. As one of Europe’s largest online commerce platforms, AliExpress’s compliance with the DSA is paramount in safeguarding consumers, particularly minors, from harmful content and products. With the EU’s vast consumer market, multinational corporations like AliExpress are under heightened scrutiny, as demonstrated by this inquiry. As the second case of a Chinese-owned platform to face scrutiny for potential DSA violations after TikTok, the investigation serves as a reminder that all digital service providers must meet strict regulatory standards to operate within the EU.