A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at an exhibition during the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China. File photo/ Reuters
Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba said on Wednesday it will stop selling e-cigarette components in the United States, amid growing regulatory scrutiny and reports of lung disease and some deaths linked to vaping.
The move follows announcements by Kroger Co and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc this week that they would stop selling e-cigarettes at their stores, in line with a similar decision by Walmart.
Alibaba said it already had a long-standing policy in place to not sell complete e-cigarette products in the United States.
Vaping products have been linked to a mysterious lung illness that is reported to have led to 18 deaths as of last week, with the number of confirmed and probable cases of the condition exceeding 1,000, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said that listings for products such as box mods, vape pens, herbal vapors, heat not burn devices, and empty pod cartridges would not be displayed for users located in the United States.
While Juul Labs Inc dominates the North American market for pod e-cigarettes, many reports of death and injury in the United States have been tied to makeshift brands with no identifiable owner.
The most prominent, Dank Vapes, was linked to 24 patients with lung illness, according to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine. The products contained THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Prior to the suspension, buyers could easily purchase devices, component parts and packaging from sites like Alibaba or Amazon to make their own counterfeit vaping devices.
Amazon.com Inc took down vape paraphernalia in September, although it did not specify the exact products it removed.
The United States and China said they made progress in trade talks that concluded on Friday in Beijing that Washington called “candid and constructive” as the world’s two largest economies try to resolve a bitter, nearly nine-month trade war.
US FedEx Corp on Friday again apologised and blamed Washington’s ban on Huawei for being “unclear” as Beijing deepened an investigation into why the delivery firm was holding up packages meant for the telecoms equipment maker.
Chinese firms, willing to buy American agricultural products, have asked for prices from US firms and will sign commercial contracts, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a news conference.
The United Arab Emirates stock markets closed higher on Tuesday, led by financials and property shares. Dubai’s main share index gained 0.5%, led by a 1.5% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.5% gain in Emirates NBD Bank.
The UAE banking system concluded the year 2019 in a resilient position with adequate capital and liquidity buffers well above regulatory requirements. The banking system remained profitable
Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI), and Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), a wholly owned tech co-working space by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, on Tuesday