Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has opened a new office in Russia to move closer to one of its most important international markets. According to the Russian-language Kommersant newspaper, Alibaba registered its Russian subsidiary “OOO Alibaba.com (RU)” on May 15th and named Mark Zavadsky chief of the new entity. Zavadsky already serves as the business development director for AliExpress e-commerce website in Russia and the CIS countries.
Alibaba aims to strengthen presence in Russia
Zavadsky confirmed that he had been named Director General of the new entity, while keeping his job at AliExpress. As Chinese e-commerce market saturates, the Hangzhou-based online retail giant is exploring other emerging markets such as Russia, India and Brazil to fuel growth. Alibaba aims to serve two billion customers worldwide by 2020.
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Zavadsky said that Alibaba opened the new office in Russia to “further expand our business… and to facilitate interaction with Russian government agencies.” Its AliExpress is already the most popular e-commerce platform in Russia with 15.6 million monthly active users (MAUs). By comparison, eBay has 3.7 million and Amazon has 1.7 million monthly active users in Russia.
Last year, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov of USM Holdings disclosed that his investment in Alibaba had returned more than 500%. His stake in Alibaba is unknown, but he said he had not sold his shares in the company.
Alibaba changes procedure to fight fakes
Separately, Alibaba has revamped its procedures to better fight fake goods. The move comes amid intense criticism from Chinese regulators and global brands that it has not done enough to counter fake goods. Under the new policy, the company will allow global brands to have their complaints reviewed within 1-3 days, compared to 5-7 days earlier.
International brands that sign up for Alibaba’s new program will have a dedicated representative to deal with their complaints. Last month, the online retailer said it would use QR codes to combat counterfeits. Alibaba will give away a new dotless visual codes technology to brands. Companies will be able to generate unique QR codes for an individual item, and put it on the label. Customers can confirm whether the goods they received is original or fake by scanning the QR code using the Taobao or Tmall app.