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Ukraine designates AliExpress owner as 'international sponsor of war'

by Elsa Court and Kyiv Independent August 17, 2023 11:01 PM 2 min read
An AliExpress logo sits above the entrance to a retail store operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., in a shopping mall in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's National Corruption Prevention Agency added Chinese Alibaba Group Holding Limited, the owner of the online shopping portal AliExpress, to its list of international sponsors of war on Aug. 17.

One of the reasons the agency included the Alibaba Group in the list is for supporting Russia financially by paying taxes in the country.

Though the Russian subsidiary of AliExpress is registered in Singapore, "the company continues to conduct business in Russia, providing an international platform for sales of foreign goods," the agency said.

It also said that the Russian subsidiary recorded a profit in 2022 amounting to $160 million.

Another issue is that Alibaba's platforms allegedly facilitate the sale of copper allegedly exported from the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Reuters reported in April 2023 that Chinese company Quzhou Nova bought $7.4 million worth of copper from the Debaltseve Metallurgical Engineering Plant in the Russian-occupied part of Luhansk Oblast.

The company then sells goods made from this copper on Alibaba platforms. The copper was shipped via the Russian port of Novorossiysk, the agency said.

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It also noted that Alibaba censored Ukrainian content on its platforms that relate to the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine. For example, in March 2022, the company blocked the profile of a Ukrainian streamer with 268,000 followers for posting about the Russian invasion.

Since the company does not delete posts about the war published by Russian content creators, the company supports Russia not only financially, "but also ideologically," the Ukrainian agency concluded.

The move follows the inclusion of Bacardi Limited, the world's largest private alcohol company, to the list on Aug. 10.

The agency added the Bermudian company for continuing to do business in Russia during its war against Ukraine.

According to the agency, the list is "a powerful reputational tool" aimed at encouraging the exit of international business from Russia, reducing the country's "financial and technological ability to kill Ukrainians."

Ukraine designates Bacardi as ‘international sponsor of war’
Ukraine’s National Corruption Prevention Agency (NACP) added the world’s largest private alcohol company Bacardi Limited to the “international sponsors of war” list on Aug. 10. The Bermudian company continues to do business in Russia during its all-out war against Ukraine.
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