Commission opens formal proceedings against AliExpress under the Digital Services Act

Today, the Commission has opened formal proceedings to assess whether AliExpress may have breached the Digital Services Act (DSA) in areas linked to the management and mitigation of risks, to content moderation and the internal complaint handling mechanism, to the transparency of advertising and recommender systems, to the traceability of traders and to data access for researchers.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “Consumers’ protection, especially for minors, is an essential cornerstone of the Digital Services Act. AliExpress must respect its obligations to mitigate the systemic risks on its platform and apply all safeguard provisions to ensure its services are safe. The Commission will now assess its measures and verify their compliance with our rules.”

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “The Digital Services Act is not just about hate speech, disinformation and cyberbullying. It is also there to ensure removal of illegal or unsafe products sold in the EU via e-commerce platforms. This is not negotiable to operate in the EU Single Market. As platform reaching over 100 million users in the EU, AliExpress must fully comply with the DSA and take proportionate action to fight the dissemination of dangerous goods for consumers’ health and for minors, including by influencers members of their “Affiliate Programme”. With the proceedings we launch today, we want to assess whether this is the case, and make sure no action is spared to safeguard our citizens.”

On the basis of the preliminary investigation conducted so far, including the analysis of the risk assessment report sent by AliExpress in August 2023, the information published in its Transparency report and its replies to the Commission’s formal requests for information (from 6 November 2023 and 18 January 2024), the Commission has decided to open formal proceedings against AliExpress under the Digital Services Act.

The opening of formal proceedings empowers the Commission to take further enforcement steps, such as interim measures ordering to terminate or remedy an infringement of Article 28(1), and non-compliance decisions. The Commission is also empowered to accept commitments made by AliExpress to remedy the matters subject to the proceeding.

The opening of formal proceedings does not prejudge its outcome or prejudge any other proceedings that the Commission may decide to initiate under other articles of the DSA.