AliExpress online store and Alibaba Group unreachable in Turkey

AliExpress, a popular China-based e-commerce website has become largely unavailable in Turkey. The web store is used extensively by Turkish retailers as a source for wholesale goods, particularly for generic or unbranded electronic products.

Update: Service has been restored as of ~3:20PM local time. The incident is not believed to be related to filtering or blocking of online content.

At the time of writing, the website’s servers are unaccessible via Turkey’s primary Internet access providers, triggering speculation that the service may have been blocked by regulatory authorities although no blocking order has been issued. Parent company¬†Alibaba Group’s corporate website and other services hosted on¬†AS45102 are also unreachable.

While Alibaba’s own network is unavailable in Turkey, Turkey Blocks researchers have found that the website’s www- and m-prefixed URL running through Akamai load-balancing servers remain accessible allowing parts of the website to be viewed.

International retailers including Amazon have little or no presence in the country and e-payment service PayPal withdrew client services in May 2016 citing overbearing data localisation demands. In January Turkey’s Minister of Communication announced plans to develop national alternatives to popular digital products such as Google search.