Ali Express says it will not serve Palestinians beginning in 2022

The reason for the move is commercial and not political: Palestinian mail authorities refuse to handle mail addressed to Israel, which many Palestinian shoppers put down as the destination country.

Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, laughs during an event at the Tel Aviv University, Israel May 3, 2018 (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, laughs during an event at the Tel Aviv University, Israel May 3, 2018
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will no longer allow Palestinian shoppers to make purchases on AliExpress.com, according to a text message that many buyers received from the company on Monday.

The reason for the move is that the Palestinian Authority's mail services refuse to handle packages that have the word Israel in the address. Many Palestinians do not know this and write Israel rather than Palestine as the destination country, according to N12.

Some buyers from the Chinese online fast-fashion retailer Shein reported receiving similar messages.

Alibaba calculated that the revenue from orders from Palestinian cities such as Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron and Jenin does not justify the jumbled mail situation and therefore decided to completely halt its operations there.

The Israel Post Authority said in response to a query by N12:

A woman stands at the counter inside a Israel Post office in Jerusalem (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)A woman stands at the counter inside a Israel Post office in Jerusalem (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

"This is an announcement that is intended for residents of the Palestinian Authority and is related to package delivery arrangements between online trading companies abroad and the Palestinian Authority."