Source: China’s Alibaba to enter Russia via Deripaska’s PonyExpress
MOSCOW, Sep 5 (PRIME) -- China’s largest Internet retailer Alibaba will enter the Russian market through a partnership with delivery company PonyExpress, owned by tycoon Oleg Deripaska, a source, familiar with the companies’ plans, said late Thursday.
“Alibaba’s business is actively developing in Russia that is why the issue of goods delivery to the country is urgent. That is why Alibaba has started looking for a partner in Russia. As a result, we have a partnership agreement, but in future Alibaba may buy a stake in PonyExpress, which needs investment to become a Russian DHL,” the source said.
A top manager of a large post operator said that talks over the partnership were started long ago because Alibaba has to build logistics in Russia.
A source close to PonyExpress’ top management said that Alibaba is holding negotiations with the delivery company, but it is still early to speak about entering its capital.
“At this stage PonyExpress has concluded a large contract with major Chinese courier company STO Express, which services Alibaba. Under the agreement, PonyExpress will deliver Russian addressees about 30,000–40,000 parcels a year from China,” the source said. This amount is 30–40% of a total volume of Alibaba’s parcels to Russia.
A source said that Mark Zavadsky was appointed general director of the Russian office of AliExpress, Alibabà’s unit. The top manager met with participants of the local Internet retail market.
AliExpress will make an official announcement of Zavadsky’s appointment soon, the source said.
Another source said that Zavadsky was appointed as AliExpress head for Russia and the CIS, at which role he will replace Denis Makkaveyev, which took over Alibaba’s new project.
Apart from AliExpress, Alibaba comprises electronic payment system Alipay and online store Taobao.com. The number of Russian users registered at AliExpress exceeded 700,000 as of the end of March 2013.