Leo Shen, the General Manager of Chinese online retailer AliExpress, has said that the Russian market has enormous prospects and opportunities for growth, including in the e-commerce segment. “The Russian market has huge prospects. These are not general protocol words. I, indeed, think so. I visited Russia five times in the last two years and saw the Russian market has enormous opportunities of boosting the retail trade via e-platforms. Development of e-commerce in Russia resembles now the situation observed in China several years ago,” Leo Shen stated in an interview with Tass.
The development strategy of AliExpress in Russia can be broken into three phases, Shen said. According to Shen, “the task of the first phase is to connect the Russian and the Chinese markets by means of a new online trading floor, to make Russian consumers accustomed to buying goods via Internet. It took us ten years in China to argue Chinese consumers into the advantages of e-commerce. Hence, we are forming an e-commerce concept through the AliExpress floor and help our payment and transport partners in Russia to develop an appropriate operating infrastructure”.
AliExpress is already enjoying high popularity in Russia and many consumers are already buying through this platform. A full-fledged team of AliExpress executives has already been positioned in Russia. Shen commented, “We initiated the second stage this year, where we plan to provide support to Russian manufacturers and trademarks in selling their products via the AliExpress platform on the domestic market. The third stage for Russia will be in helping small and medium Russian companies to enter international markets through our platform.”
Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates also commented on these developments, noting, “AliExpress’s experience is really taking up the loose reins that the EU left dangling when they imposed sanctions on Russia”. Further, he said, “Europe will find they have no business opportunities to go back to in Russia once the sanctions are lifted. Asia has been taking up the opportunities instead, and the creation of the Russia-Asia Trade Corridor is a hot subject right now. The supply chain is changing and Asian MNCs from China, ASEAN and India are all looking to get into the Russian market. The EU’s self-inflicted loss is Asia’s gain.”
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