AliExpress to offer Russians more ‘made in China’

AliExpress starts operating in Russia
Russians are to get direct access to the world’s biggest online trading platform – China’s AliExpress. Now the company has joined Russia’s leader of electronic payments QIWI, buying Chinese will become even cheaper and easier.

­A wide range of settlement alternatives are opening up, as one can choose between a special internet service – QIWI Purse, a mobile application or any of the 120,000 payment terminals across Russia, according to a QIWI press release.

Using QIWI services won’t involve any commission for Russians themselves, as it’ll charge the Chinese partner instead, according to AliExpress. 

The deal is timely, as the Russian market of online trade is developing at a fast pace. Experts say it should grow to 600 billion roubles in 5 years, compared to 240 billion in 2010.

“Russia’s market of online trade is at its start-up stage, but its share already now accounts for 4.3% of the total volume of retail trade,” Maxim Popov, a managing director at QIWI Purse, specifies. Delivering good quality at a good price will be a key advantage of AliExpress, Popov added.

The arrival of a new global player will be beneficial for both the seller and the Russian buyer, Andrey Checherin, commercial director at another Russian online trader Ozon.ru, told RBC Daily.

“The market for electronic trade in our country remains far from saturation, so there’s enough space for everybody. And for buyers this would be only good, as more opportunity to choose will open up,” he said.

An integral part of world leader in electronic commerce Alibaba.com, AliExpress has recently become hugely popular in Russia. During 1Q 2012 the amount of buyers from the country skyrocketed 600% year on year. 

To put strong roots into the Russian market, Alibaba is also mulling partnering up with social networks in the country, Leo Shgen, director for global operations at AliExpress.com, told RBC daily.

“We’ll be aggressively looking for partners, and also hoping for the company’s organic growth,” he added.

Digital Sky Technologies Global of Russia’s tycoons Alisher Usmanov and Yury Milner is among Alibaba’s shareholders. The Russian company with US Silver Lake and Chinese fund Yunfeng Capital headed an investor consortium that bought a 5% stake in the Chinese online retailer.