Both Alibaba and Aliexpress are Alibaba subsidiaries. Both are advertising web sites, and neither site sells any physical products. They both need improvement in their customer service and guarantees about the products listed. The main difference between Alibaba and AliExpress is that Alibaba was aimed at manufacturer to business customers and AliExpress is aimed to local crafts and small customers to retail purchasers. Alibaba manufacturers mostly aim to higher volume orders.
Anything on either site with a global brand is 99+% certain is counterfeit. Descriptions out of China are extremely loose, and photos used in advertising could be just copy-paste from somewhere else.
Stating AliExpress is "legit" is like stating Craigslist is legit if buying from a user in another country. In China, they try to cut out the middle distributors and retailers to sell direct, but I have visited PRC and worked directly with the companies and people and the concept of "returns" is totally different in China. They are now figuring out quality also, as local buyers.
If you want to buy junk at low prices, you can do it at either site, and occasionally, you might find a bargain, but you cannot tell until you receive the item.
Here are two larger sellers out of Hong Kong that is establishing inventory in some countries
Their reputation used to be better, but even they are degrading in service.
So, for both AliExpress and Alibaba you buy from sellers in China, and the seller reputation counts, and Alibaba is mostly for manufacturers selling in higher lot sizes. That is the difference.
Both companies are Alibaba.
New York Stock Exchange listed company out of China
It is a Cayman Islands company, HQ in China
Jack Yun MA owns 7.6%
Joseph C. TSAI owns 3.1%
Other directors own 2.4%
SoftBank (a Japan based bank) owns 31.8%
Yahoo owns 15.3%
39.8% public owned shares
The fact that Yahoo owns 15%, if my answer gets reported and deleted, you will know why.
Alibaba is usually (always) a scam site from suppliers that are asian and false advertise, i mean i found a hemp decorticator at $1 a piece LOL it said min. Order 10000 so aliexpress is legit and alibaba is a scam
I wouldn't trust either one, never heard of them before just now.