This content is not available in your region

Consumer bodies seek to force Alibaba portal to honour EU shoppers' rights

Access to the comments Comments
Consumer bodies seek to force Alibaba portal to honour EU shoppers' rights
The Alibaba group logo is seen at the high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech,in Paris, France May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau   -   Copyright  CHARLES PLATIAU(Reuters)
Text size Aa Aa

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Consumer bodies from Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain on Friday urged their national consumer protection agencies to act against Alibaba’s online shopping portal for allegedly setting unfair terms for EU users.

The complaints against Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s AliExpress echoed a similar grievance by the Luxembourg consumer body to its national authority earlier this year which wants the issue to be tackled on a European level.

The consumer groups want online shopping portal AliExpress, which sells goods from Chinese retailers and competes with U.S. online retailer Amazon, to comply with EU laws protecting consumers.

“We call on the consumer protection authorities to look urgently into this issue and to take action,” European consumer body BEUC’s director general Monique Goyens said in a statement.

“Online platforms linking sellers from outside Europe are more and more popular, but respecting consumer rights is not negotiable,” she said.

The six bodies, which are part of BEUC’s network, are concerned about a clause in AliExpress’ terms and conditions which refers disputes between a seller and a buyer to a Hong Kong arbitration court.

EU rules say EU consumers have a right to take legal action before a court in their own country.

Another worry is that consumers cannot return goods without any justification within 14 days, again in breach of EU laws. The seller’s obligation to provide a minimum two-year legal guarantee is not mentioned while terms and conditions are not always spelled out in the national language of the country.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

euronews provides breaking news articles from reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. Articles appear on for a limited time.