Launched in 2010 by Jack Ma’s AliBaba group, AliExpress is one of the top independent retailers in the world. It pools the inventory of small and medium sized sellers throughout the wider world, creating an online market place where literally anything is for sale. It is seen as a Chinese competitor to the American online retailers Amazon and eBay, but in reality it offers more than both its western competitors in terms of a wide verity of products.
AliBaba’s continued expansion into the Russian market has seen the user-friendly AliExpress become Russia’s most visited retail website. Furthermore, Russia is now the number one customer base for AliExpress.
Liu Wei, the director the AliExpress in Russia has stated,
“After starting to do business here in 2012, Russia has become the largest market for AliExpress globally. About 10 million Russian customers have made orders (on AliExpress) in 2016”.
Liu Wei further commented that he believes that AliExpress and the wider AliBaba network will help connect Russian producers and retailers to markets across the world.
He further remarked that whereas AliExpress typically sees its highest concentration of customers in the capital cities of any given nation, Russia has defied this trend. Most of AliExpress’ customers in Russia are from cities outside of Moscow.
As Russia is one of the few countries in the world to run a trade surplus with China, this is yet a further example of the importance of increased business cooperation between the neighbouring superpowers.