The world-famous marketplace AliExpress has been announced as an international sponsor of the war
The National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) has added the Chinese group of companies Alibaba Group Holding Limited to the list of international sponsors of war. In particular, it owns the world-famous AliExpress marketplace. This threatens the group of companies with serious reputational losses at the global level.
According to the NAZK, the reason for this decision was the group's cooperation with Russia. In particular, it provides its platforms for the sale of copper products exported from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
"In April 2023, Reuters reported that the Chinese company Quzhou Nova purchased at least 3,220 tonnes of copper alloy for a total of $7.4 million from the Debaltseve Metallurgical Engineering Plant (controlled by the Russians) between 8 October 2022 and 24 March 2023. According to customs, the copper alloy was shipped from the plant through the port of Novorossiysk. The company uses the copper exported from the occupied territories to produce goods sold on Alibaba's platforms," the statement said.
In addition, it is noted that Alibaba on its platforms censors Ukrainian content related to the war unleashed by Russia. For example:
- in March 2022, the company blocked the profile of a Ukrainian streamer with more than 268,000 subscribers on AliExpress for reporting on the war;
- pro-Russian posts on the platform are not deleted.
In addition, the agency said, there is an online commerce platform AliExpress in Russia, operated by the Russian subsidiary of the Alibaba group, Alibaba.COM (RU) LLC:
- its owner is Aliexpress Russia Holding Private Ltd. registered in Singapore;
- in 2022, its profit amounted to 16.3 billion rubles (about $160 million).
"All these facts may indicate that the company supports Russian aggression. Not only financially, by paying taxes, but also ideologically," the NACP concluded.
Declaring an international sponsor of war - what it means
Alibaba Group Holding Limited is not the first international company to be included in the list. It already includes Bacardi, Unilever, Raiffeisen Bank International, Auchan, Metro, Procter & Gamble, Bonduelle, Mondelez, Leroy Merlin, Xiaomi, Geely and many others.
The companies included in the list of international sponsors of war are included in the World-Check database. This does not threaten them with closure, but the database is used worldwide to identify and manage financial, regulatory and reputational risks.
For example, earlier, the American corporation Mondelez International faced a boycott in Europe after being included in the Ukrainian list of international war sponsors. The Scandinavian countries were the most active in joining it. After that, Mondelez even announced its intention to wind down its business in Russia. However, the boycott did not end, as the company still has no plans to completely withdraw from the Russian market.
However, all of these companies on the list are still operating in Ukraine, as the NACP does not have the authority to close international businesses or restrict their operations. However, if the National Security and Defence Council imposes sanctions against such businesses, the situation may change.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, the NACP has also sent letters to companies included in the list of international sponsors of the war. The agency invites the heads of such companies to visit Ukraine and see the consequences of Russian aggression with their own eyes and discuss the withdrawal of business from the Russian terrorist country.