Commission opens formal proceedings against AliExpress under the Digital Services Act

Homme consultant le site de Aliexpress, à droite, carte de l'Europe avec inscription "Digital Services Act"

The European 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.

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, the Commission has decided to open formal proceedings against AliExpress under the Digital Services Act.

The proceedings will, among others, focus on the compliance with the DSA in relation with the prohibition of certain products posing risks for consumers’ health (such as fake medicines and food) and for minors (access to pornographic material), measures to prevent dissemination of illegal content, intentional manipulation or the promotion of illegal or harmful products through influencers, etc.

The DSA does not set any legal deadline for bringing formal proceedings to an end. The opening of formal proceedings does not prejudge the outcome. The Commission will now carry out an in-depth investigation as a matter of priority.

What is the Digital Services Act (DSA)?

The main objective of the DSA is to ensure a safe and responsible online environment. It thus imposes rules on online intermediary services with additional specific obligations for very large online platforms reaching more than 10 % of the 450 million consumers in Europe:

Risk management and crisis response obligations;

External and independent audit, internal compliance audit function and public accountability;

Choice of users not to have recommendations based on profiling;

Sharing data with authorities and researchers;

Codes of conduct;

Cooperation in crisis response.

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