AliExpress Russia, the main plank in Alibaba’s strategy for expanding its e-commerce reach into the Russian market, has laid off 40% of its employees as the Russia-Ukraine war and accompanying sanctions continue to weigh on their operations, Russian media outlet Vedomosti reported. The story said the company started to reduce headcount in non-core business lines in April. In 2018, Alibaba established AliExpress Russia with Russian partners including Group and MegaFon, aiming at Russia and neighboring countries’ consumer internet and e-commerce markets. AliExpress Russia’s business represents 95% of online sales from China to the Russian market, data from research agency Infoline Analytics shows. [Vedomosti, in Russian]