- The items sold on AliExpress could be illegal in the West.
- The items could be a risk to national security.
- The brand name items could be counterfeit.
The e-commerce market continues to grow around the the globe. This year, it is expected that e-commerce retail sales worldwide will reach $4.9 trillion. It should be noted that in 2019, American consumers spent $601.75 billion shopping online. However, there are certain items that should never be bought, particularly on Alibaba’s AliExpress.
Besides the possibility of being a vicim and unsuspecting spy for China, there is a possibility to be charged criminally as well.
One of the categories of products that should never be purchased on AliExpress is a variety of silent audio and video recording devices. These devices are sold on the AliExpress platform and could be hidden inside a watch, light bulb, etc.
Even though they might be convenient items to install in the house to “spy” on the nanny with your child, etc., nevertheless, there are certain laws regarding indoor recording that could get a consumer into legal trouble and criminal charges.
However, the biggest danger is that the Chinese government is known to install trackers in their products in order to spy on western costumers and to gather intelligence for the Chinese government. Therefore, the buyer could end up being an unsuspecting spy for China and a risk to national security.
In addition, some of the descriptions might not include the item having spy cameras in it. Therefore, it is best to avoid the majority of the electronic devices sold on the AliExpress platform.
Another category to avoid is any type of dietary supplements. The items can include unsafe ingredients that can cause adverse reactions, and even could require hospitalization. China does not have a stringent control of the items produced, and AliExpress is not liable for what is sold on their platform. Hence, buyer beware.
In addition, do not ever purchase any seeds or plants. It is highly likely the products will not clear western customs. However, even if they did, they could be dangerous for western flora and fauna, whilst possibly introducing harmful plants to your garden.
There is also no guarantees that the seeds are as described. The majority of the countries around the world do not allows seed imports.
There is a risk of buying shoes and clothing on AliExpress as well. A lot of times, the Chinese sizes are not the same as western sizes and a lot of times they are too small or could be too short.
The western brands sold on AliExpress, like Nike, are usually counterfeit products with poor quality. Even if the price is attractive, at the end, the product received would be of poor quality with questionable origin. A lot of times the sellers of the counterfeit products use the funds from the sale to fund illicit activities, such as drug trafficking and even terrorism.
Overall, it is best to look for other online platforms to shop.