Alibaba and Richemont Form Partnership to Give Luxury Brands Enhanced Access to Chinese Market

Alibaba Group and Richemont, a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company, announced a global strategic partnership today with the purpose of bringing the retail offerings of YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP S.p.A. (YNAP), the world’s leading online luxury retailer, to Chinese consumers.

“Our digital offering in China is in its infancy and we believe that partnering with Alibaba will enable us to become a significant and sustainable online player in this market,” said Johann Rupert, Chairman of Richemont, in a company announcement.

The partnership will focus on serving consumers in China and Chinese consumers traveling abroad.

Richemont, a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company

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Alibaba and YNAP, acquired by Richemont with purchasing 95 percent of the company’s market shares earlier this year, will establish a joint venture (JV) to launch two mobile apps for YNAP’s NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER online stores for consumers in China. They will also launch the online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion, an exclusive platform dedicated to the world’s leading luxury brands.

Alibaba supports the JV by providing technology infrastructure, marketing, payments and other technology.

Alibaba has become the preferred online destination in China, with world-class teams in technology, logistics and marketing. Through this joint venture, we look forward to opening the important Chinese market to NET-A-PORTER, MR PORTER and the luxury brands they offer their clientele,” Rupert said.

The JV will also leverage YNAP’s strong relationship with leading luxury brands, some 950 of them being currently distributed through YNAP in China.

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group
Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, explains that Chinese consumers are expected to account for nearly half of the global luxury market by 2025 and hopes that the partnership with Richemont will bring them unprecedented access to the world’s leading luxury brands.

YNAP and Alibaba will also explore future offerings that enable customers to enjoy unique and seamless online and offline shopping experiences through digitizing and fully integrating the retail value chain from merchandising and marketing to payments.

Daniel Zhang expresses his hopes about the partnership in a company statement, “We believe this announcement is just the beginning of a long-term partnership, and together we are committed to exploring many more opportunities to collaborate in the future.”