AliExpress halts deliveries to Russia amid tightening restrictions

According to the reports, AliExpress has discontinued all domestic Russian deliveries and is no longer accepting payments in rubles. The platform has also closed Russian suppliers’ ability to process orders from other countries.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has stopped allowing orders to be shipped to Russia through its popular AliExpress platform, Russian media outlets reported on Wednesday. The move represents a significant tightening of business conditions for Russian merchants and consumers reliant on the online marketplace.

According to the reports, AliExpress has discontinued all domestic Russian deliveries and is no longer accepting payments in rubles. The platform has also closed Russian suppliers’ ability to process orders from other countries.

The restrictions could have major ramifications for countless Russian businesses and individual entrepreneurs who rely on AliExpress to source inventory and materials from Chinese manufacturers. The platform has exploded in popularity in Russia due to its low prices and a wide array of goods.

An AliExpress representative confirmed the changes in a statement, citing ongoing “logistics issues” impacting shipments to Russia. However, the company did not provide specifics on what led to the delivery suspensions.

The measures appear to be Alibaba’s latest response to the fallout from Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Many international companies have curtailed operations in the Russian market over compliance concerns.

Previously, AliExpress had continued shipping some orders to Russia using cumbersome workarounds. But the latest blanket restrictions signal Alibaba’s struggles have become too difficult to overcome.

For Russia’s e-commerce sector, which boomed during the pandemic, the loss of AliExpress deliveries is a major blow. Few affordable alternatives exist for importing consumer goods as Western sanctions continue squeezing Russia’s economy.

Russian suppliers fear the impact could be catastrophic, potentially drying up steady sources of revenue. The developments illustrate Russia’s deepening economic isolationism amid its escalating confrontation with the West. As major firms like Alibaba distance themselves, securing basic goods and supplies will likely grow even more challenging.