AliExpress is an online retail service based in China and owned by the Alibaba Group. Launched in 2010, it is made up of small businesses in China and other locations, such as Singapore, that offer products to international online buyers.
AliExpress started as a business-to-business buying and selling portal. It has since expanded to business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer, cloud computing, and payment services, as well. As of 2016 AliExpress ran websites in English, Spanish, Dutch, French, Italian, German, Polish, Turkish, Portuguese, Indonesian and Russian languages. Customers outside the countries for these languages are automatically served the English version of the service. AliExpress is often used by e-commerce stores that use a dropship business model.
Sellers on AliExpress can be either companies or individuals. AliExpress is different from Amazon because it acts only as an e-commerce platform and does not itself sell products directly to consumers. It directly connects Chinese businesses with buyers.
Although most of the retailers are Chinese, AliExpress is aimed at international buyers and does not sell to customers in mainland China. Customers in China use fellow Alibaba-subsidiary Taobao, because of its convenience in delivery and service, especially the payment method, Alipay. The site offers a popular affiliate marketing program where partners are rewarded with a commission on sales for sending visitors to the site.
In November 2020, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology banned the AliExpress mobile phone app and 42 other apps from China.
In 2022, the Office of the United States Trade Representative added AliExpress to its list of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy.