(Yicai Global) Sept. 12 -- Jack Ma has kept busy after his announcement two days ago about stepping down as executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding in 12 months. Upon Ma's visit to Russia yesterday, Hangzhou's internet giant decided to team up with a Moscow-based triplet of a sovereign wealth fund, digital behemoth and mobile operator to launch an e-commerce platform that makes use of local payment systems.
Alibaba's overseas shopping site AliExpress formed a joint venture with Russian Direct Investment Fund, online service firm Mail.Ru and telecom company MegaFon "with the aim of creating a one-stop destination for consumers where they can communicate, socialize, shop and play games, all within the same online ecosystem," Alibaba said in a press release yesterday. Ma visited the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum that is held on Sept. 11-13 in the eastern port city of Vladivostok.
"By partnering with Russia's leading consumer internet platform, AliExpress Russia will help digitize and transform the retail value chain in Russia, enabling a seamless and innovative experience for consumers as well as creating significant opportunities for Russian entrepreneurs and SMEs to grow in their home market and expand globally," Alibaba Group President Michael Evans said. On the new platform, AliExpress Russia, the country's most popular shopping site, will handle Alibaba's cross-border operations.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin said during an entrepreneur roundtable meeting that Russia supports Alibaba's development in the country. This marked the fourth meeting between Putin and Ma.
Editor: Emmi Laine