Alibaba Group is a Chinese conglomerate dealing in e-commerce, retail, internet and artificial intelligence including technologies. The group was founded in the year 1999 and provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business services through its web portals. It also provides electronic payment services, search engines for shopping and cloud computing services. It is among the top ten most valuable companies in the world today. It has operations over 200 countries in the world. It is the largest retailer, one of the largest internets, a provider of Artificial intelligence, one of the largest venture capital firms and also one of the biggest investment corporations in the world.
It was founded by Jack Ma and the name Alibaba derived from the famous Arabian story of “One thousand and one nights” owing to its uniqueness. Recently Jack Ma has decided to step down as the CEO, although he will remain in the Board to help the management. It is going to form a joint venture with Sovereign wealth fund of Russia, Telecom major MegaFon and Mail.Ru Group, the internet firm. The specifics of the financial contribution in cash that will be provided by Alibaba is unknown. But it will contribute the existing business of AliExpress Russia. The transaction was jointly announced during the Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok, wherein the meeting of the Chinese premier Xi Jinping and president of Russia Vladimir Putin is underway. After being loaded with sanctions from Europe and the United States, Russia was eyeing towards building close political and trade relations with neighboring China.
In turn, China was also intending to expand its economic dominance in the Asian region as well as in Europe through its highly spoken Belt and Road initiative. The initiative includes building infrastructure like ports and railways including the creation of a “digital silk-road” through high-speed internet network and e-commerce. Upon approval of the above transaction, the ownership will consist of Alibaba: 48% of AliExpress Russia, MegaFon 24%, Mail.Ru group: 15% (which is providing its online shopping business into the Joint Venture) and Sovereign Wealth fund of Russia: 13%. However, the market in Russia has a lot of potential for growth.