The European Commission has launched an investigation into Chinese online e-commerce platform AliExpress, owned by the Alibaba Group, on suspicion of violating the Digital Services Act (DSA), the EU executive said in a statement on 14 March.

This is the third official investigation under the DSA, following those opened against TikTok and social media platform X.

The investigation is into the distribution of illegal content and focuses on risk mitigation, content moderation and internal complaints mechanism, as well as transparency of advertising and recommendation systems, traceability of traders and access to data for researchers, the commission said in a statement.

The commission will check the company for dissemination of information about prohibited products that pose a risk to consumer health, such as counterfeit medicines and food, as well as dietary supplements.

The investigation will also focus on whether there were violations of the DSA that allowed minors to access pornographic material, which the commission says consumers can still find on the platform.

In addition, the commission sent a series of requests for information to 6 platforms and 2 search engines under the DSA on AI; to check the companies’ internal policies and readiness for Generative AI.

Bing, Google Search, as well as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, and X will have to provide more information on their measures to mitigate the risks associated with so-called “hallucinations”, when AI provides false information, spreading viruses, diplomacy, and automated manipulation of services that could mislead voters.

The EU executive also decided to ask LinkedIn to provide additional information after civil society organisations filed a complaint against the company for allegedly violating the law by allowing profiling in advertising. LinkedIn has until 5 April to provide the requested information.

A spokesperson for AliExpress said that the company “has worked and will continue to work with the relevant authorities to ensure that we meet applicable standards and will continue to ensure that we are able to comply with the DSA.”

Source: The Gaze