MADRID (Reuters) – AliExpress, the global e-commerce platform of the Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba BABA.NHe warned customers Tuesday that there may be some delivery delays due to the coronavirus outbreak.
AliExpress is one of the most downloaded shopping apps in the world, part of a growing e-commerce trend where consumers around the world buy goods such as cell phones, vacuum cleaners and clothes directly from manufacturers primarily based in China.
“Some shipping and logistics companies have longer waiting times when processing orders,” said a Facebook post.
Unlike Alibaba’s Tmall or Taobao, which target the domestic market, AliExpress is aimed primarily at international buyers.
Alibaba is pushing outside of China through divisions like AliExpress to offset slowing domestic economic growth and increasing competition from companies like JD.com JD.O.
Founded in 2010, AliExpress is particularly popular in Russia, the United States, Brazil, Spain, and France, selling items like jeans for $ 12.41 and wireless headphones for $ 6.64. According to Alibaba’s website, there were more than 79 million active consumers per year in the year ended August 31, 2019.
Customers complained Tuesday that orders not only took a long time but were automatically renewed instead of being canceled and refunded.
“It doesn’t build confidence that your order will be renewed forever and you can’t stop it,” said Monika Hendry, originally from Poland and now living in Hong Kong, who spent about $ 10 on a cell phone holder on Jan. 17 Location.
“The only answer AliExpress offers is to contact the seller directly if you have problems but the seller doesn’t respond and you get stuck. You have absolutely no recourse, ”she said. “It’s a waste of time.”
AliExpress said Tuesday it is constantly monitoring the situation.
“Some shipments may be affected, but we are working hard to support our sellers during this difficult time while minimizing any inconvenience to our customers,” the company said in an email statement.
Alibaba Group warned of a decline in sales in its key e-commerce stores in February as the coronavirus hit supply chains and shipments in China.
Amazon.com AMZN.O Sellers in the United States are preparing for product shortages due to shutdowns in China and the cancellation of cargo flights out of the country. More than 1 million Amazon sellers source products from Chinese retailers.
The outbreak claimed more than 3,000 lives and infected more than 90,000 people worldwide after spreading from China to 77 other countries and territories.
Reporting by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Nick Macfie and David Clarke