Alibaba's Marketplace Adds Russian Merchants to Boost Expansion

  • Domestic e-commerce market is 4 times the size of cross-border
  • AliExpress has over 22 million monthly users, according to TNS

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is adding Russian shops including Wikimart and Incity to its AliExpress marketplace to further boost sales in one of its largest markets outside of China.

AliExpress will let several Russian retailers sell goods on its site and take part in a global sales event on Nov. 11, Alibaba said in an e-mailed statement. The Chinese marketplace had more than 22 million monthly users in Russia, according to researcher TNS.

AliExpress leads the cross-border e-commerce market in Russia, which was worth 65 billion rubles ($1 billion) in the first half, according researcher Data Insight. The domestic market, where Alibaba hasn’t yet been present, was worth more than four times that at 305 billion rubles, the researcher said.

“In choosing partners, we focused on categories of goods that are in demand in Russia, and we highlighted Russian brands and companies that manufacture products in Russia,” Mark Zavadskiy, business development director at AliExpress, said in the statement.

Russians are increasingly turning to Internet shopping to seek best bargains as a recession and weakening ruble have eroded incomes. Chinese sites including AliExpress, JD.com Inc. and others are particularly popular. The volume of e-commerce parcels from China rose 50 percent in the first half, according to the Russian Post.

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