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AliExpress is the first online marketplace to face EU DSA investigation | TechCrunch


China’s AliExpress has earned the dubious distinction of being the first online marketplace to face a formal investigation by the European Commission as the European Union launches its third formal investigation into a mega-platform under the Digital Services Act (DSA).

The DSA is the EU’s relaunched e-commerce rules that require risk assessments and mitigation measures for larger platforms, who face stiff penalties (up to 6% of global annual turnover) for non-compliance.

Social media platform X and TikTok are two other Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) that have been formally investigated by the DSA December and Februaryrespectively). These investigations remain ongoing.

in a Press release In announcing formal procedures against AliExpress, the Commission expressed suspicion that the marketplace had violated DSA rules in areas such as risk management and mitigation, content moderation and its internal complaints handling mechanism, transparency in advertising and recommendation systems, and traceability of information. . Data access for traders and researchers.

AliExpress is designated as VLOP As early as April last yearand other marketplaces including Amazon and Zalando.

Security in e-commerce marketplaces is one of the few concerns Commission’s Enforcement Prioritiesas well as illegal hate speech, child protection and election security.

At a background briefing for reporters on Thursday, a European Commission official said concerns about AliExpress ranged from non-compliant medicines and food to child safety risks related to the distribution of pornography and the sale of toys.

They said they would also investigate transparency and security issues related to influencers’ use of AliExpress. The platform offers an affiliate program for social media influencers, who can earn commissions through links to products sold on the platform. The Commission expressed suspicion that some of these activities resulted in the sale of products that were not compliant and presented potentially hazardous or other risks.

The company said it would also investigate how the program was implemented to verify whether it complied with DSA transparency rules.

The full list of alleged violations by AliExpress is long: up to 10 articles (Articles 16, 20, 26, 27, 30, 34, 35, 38, 39 and 40).

However, today’s proceedings have not identified any violations of the DSA. Instead, it means that the European Commission will now conduct an in-depth investigation “as a matter of priority”. This formal step frees up additional powers for the EU, including interim measures: There is no fixed timetable for the conclusion of the DSA investigation.

We contacted Alibaba, the parent company of AliExpress, for comment.



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