Alibaba Group and Russian partners have agreed on a deal
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), sovereign investment fund of the Russian Federation, Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), the world leader in the field of Internet Commerce, PJSC MegaFon, the all-Russian operator of digital capabilities, and Mail.Ru group (MAIL: IL), the leading Internet and IT company in Russia, increasing its presence in foreign markets, announced a strategic partnership, which will create the largest joint venture in the field of social commerce in Russia and the CIS to integrate key consumer Internet and e-commerce platforms in Russia.
Alibaba is investing USD30 MM into development of IT infrastructure in Russia and creation of the data center. New capacities are required to improve quality of service of the company's online platforms AliExpress and Tmall, and to comply with the Russian laws.
The Russian market has great prospects and opportunities for development, including in the field of electronic commerce – this was the opinion of Shen Difan (Leo Shen), AliExpress’ General Director, who shared it with TASS during an event dedicated to the role of the corporation in the implementation of the Chinese initiative “The Economic Belt of the Silk Road”.
"The Russian market has huge prospects. These are not just common protocol words. I really think so. I visited Russia five times in the last two years and saw that the Russian market has huge opportunities to increase retail trade through electronic platforms. The development of e-commerce in Russia now resembles the situation in China a few years ago”, he said.
According to the company, Alibaba Games (part of Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group) plans to invest 145 million dollars (1 billion yuan) in the development of mobile video games within the created global strategic alliance.
The investments are envisaged within the Alibaba structure partnership with the participation of Mail.ru Group, TFJoy, Efun and ONEMT, that created the Global Strategic Alliance of Mobile Game Distribution.
Sberbank and the Chinese Alibaba Group consider establishing a joint venture in the sphere of e-commerce in the first half of 2017, Kommersant says.
JV may be established only as the Russian legal entity with at least a 50% interest owned by Sberbank, a source close to the Government told the newspaper. According to the source, JV will be prohibited to provide financial services because such services will be provided by Sberbank.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is looking at the opportunity of setting up an Internet platform to facilitate Russian exports, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma said. “We expect we will be able to contribute to its realization,” he said during a meeting of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with representatives of Russian and Chinese IT companies in Wuzhen, China. “The platform will allow Russian goods to be marketed in China, Asia and worldwide,” he added. “We are hoping to take an active part in developing Russia’s e-commerce infrastructure, and contribute to the creation of an e-commerce platform,” Alibaba founder stated as quoted by TASS Russian News Agency. He believes that Russia should first and foremost develop Internet finance and logistics infrastructure based on digital data. Russia and China should enhance transparency of their e-commerce operations and develop infrastructure to create potential for the future, Ma believes.
China’s largest online retailer Alibaba is interested in building a network of logistics centers in Russia to facilitate Russian deliveries to China.
Alibaba is looking for partners in Russia in its bid to create in a platform to enable Russian small and medium sized businesses to tap into Chinese and other foreign markets. “We would like to convince Russian companies, young businessmen, small enterprises to take advantage of the opportunities of e-commerce to enter the Chinese and other markets which are likely to build up demand for their products,” Alibaba’s Jack Ma said.
Jack Ma also stressed that the announcement of Alibaba’s deal could come as early as 2016. “Our team is already in talks with a variety of counterparties, and hopefully, next year we will be able to make an announcement,” TASS quoted Jack Ma as saying.
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma (the world’s 33rd wealthiest billionaire with $22.7 billion, according to Forbes), who founded Alibaba Group, on Friday admitted that the time is opportune now for business expansion in Russia, TASS reports.
“I believe now is the suitable, good time,” Ma said when asked whether the rouble devaluation and reduction in people’s buying capacity impacted his plans to expand his business in Russia.
Ma explained that good times come and go. Whereas everything is too expensive during the “gold” period, now the time is right to work on logistics, payment system, and support consumer-oriented small business. He admitted that because of the decrease in the rouble value late in 2014, the company reported a slump in its Russian business. “When everything is falling, you need to work. I am quite optimistic,” Ma said.
The founder of Alibaba is on his first visit to Russia. He was invited to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2015). On 19 May, he will speak about the future of online commerce.
Alibaba was established in 1999 and is currently the largest Chinese electronic commerce corporation. In 2014, Ma led his company to a $25 billion IPO in New York.
Company's website: www.alibabagroup.com
T: (+86) 571-8502-2088
Contact: Daniel Zhang, Director and CEO
Set up in 1999, Alibaba has emerged as the largest Chinese e-commerce company. In 2014, Alibaba Group raised $25bn in its IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).