The joint venture features AliExpress, Mail.ru Group, MegaFon Russian Direct Investment Fund
The operation to establish a joint venture in Russia signed Alibaba Group – which will bring together e-commerce platforms, social media and popular games for the benefit of the country’s consumers and will offer Russian small and medium-sized enterprises greater access both locally and locally international markets – it’s a done deal.
First announced in September 2018, the joint venture features AliExpress, the leading Russian Internet company Mail.ru Group, the Russian mobile telecommunications operator MegaFon and the sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
After the federal anti-monopoly service of Russia authorized the JV to move forward last June, now AliExpress Russia JV is owned by the majority of Russian shareholders, with a board of directors composed of RDIF executives, Alibaba Group, MegaFon and Mail.ru Group. Group CEO Mail.ru Boris Dobrodeev is the chairman of the board, while AliExpress Russia’s chief Liu Wei and the first deputy general manager of the group Mail.ru Dmitry Sergeev will serve as co-CEO of the JV.
Alibaba remains focused on fulfilling its basic mission
“Alibaba remains focused on fulfilling the mission ‘to make it easy to do business anywhere.’ “AliExpress Russia JV is an important part of Alibaba’s globalization strategy and a key step towards our long-term goal to help 10 million small businesses achieve profitability and serve 2 billion customers worldwide,” he said. Daniel Zhang, Executive Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.
“Together with Mail.ru Group, RDIF and MegaFon, we are committed to accelerating the development of the digital economy of consumers in Russia and the CIS countries, allowing regional brands and SMEs to reach and serve their target consumers through our unique and innovative shopping experience, “said Zhang.
The JV group and Mail.ru will conclude a strategic cooperation agreement related, among other things, to traffic and product initiatives. The JV will also promote its services on the Mail.ru Group platforms through exclusive solutions for product integration and marketing.
Mail.Ru Group has 100 million Internet users
Mail.Ru Group has 100 million Internet users through its social media properties, messaging, e-mail and online games, with 90% of all Internet users in Russia using at least one of its properties every month. The two largest Russian social media sites of Russia VKontakte and Odnoklassniki and its main email service are all owned by the Mail.ru Group.
In addition to combining social media and e-commerce, the joint venture will work to support the upgrade of consumption in Russia by offering a greater selection of high-quality products on the market. For Russian small and medium-sized enterprises it is an opportunity to tap into a new connected ecosystem in the domestic market, accessing over 600 million consumers using Alibaba platforms, including China, Southeast Asia, Turkey, Europe and India.
The joint venture also plans to participate in the acceleration of the Russian digital economy, exploiting the respective strengths of the parties in electronic commerce, social and digital media, logistics and the local market and helping to build the future commercial infrastructure in Russia and in the world.