Alibaba has laid off about 40% of its AliExpress staff in Russia, according to the Nikkei report on Friday.

The redundancies were necessary because of the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has resulted in countries imposing sanctions on Russia, making it more difficult to do business and trade across borders.

Citing a source familiar with the matter, the Nikkei report noted that it had yet to determine whether there would be further layoffs after some of the laid-off employees voluntarily decided to leave while others moved.

The Nikkei report stated that AliExpress Russia’s commercial division suffered the most from the recent layoffs.

AliExpress Russia is a joint venture formed in 2019 by e-commerce giant Alibaba and Russian partners.

Since its launch, the company has faced several challenges, including supply chain problems that prevented it from profiting from the e-commerce boom during the pandemic.

Now the company faces another challenge caused by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.