Alibaba ties with Russian firms on e-commerce platform that will use Moscow’s own payment system

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba signed a new strategic partnership with a number of Russian firms Tuesday, which will form a new e-commerce platform and utilize Russia’s own payments system.

The deal — signed at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia — includes the sovereign wealth fund of Russia, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), alongside mobile operator MegaFon and internet group Mail.ru. The partnership is aimed at integrating Russia’s key consumer internet and e-commerce platforms, and also launching a leading social commerce joint venture in Russia.

Alibaba added Tuesday that the idea is to create a one-stop destination for consumers to communicate, socialize, shop and play games, all within the same online ecosystem. A Financial Times article last week also likened the venture to a digital version of China’s silk road initiative. (Read more….)