CHINA. Swiss luxury goods group Richemont and online retail giant Alibaba Group have announced a strategic partnership to bring the online retail platform Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP) to the Chinese market.

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang welcomed the “multi-faceted” new partnership.

YNAP is an Italian online fashion retailer which currently sells into more than 180 countries. It was acquired by Richemont earlier this year.

Under the partnership agreement, YNAP and Alibaba will establish a joint venture (JV) to launch two mobile apps for YNAP’s Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter online stores for consumers in China and Chinese citizens travelling abroad.

Alibaba, which reported revenues of US$39.9 billion in its most recent financial year, will provide technology infrastructure, marketing, payments, logistics and other technology support to the JV.

The JV will also launch Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion, a platform dedicated to the world’s leading luxury brands.

Commenting on the new partnership, Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert said: “Chinese customers at home and abroad are an increasingly important customer base for Richemont and for the broader luxury industry.

“Our digital offering in China is in its infancy and we believe that partnering with Alibaba will enable us to become a significant and sustainable online player in this market.”

Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said: “This multi-faceted partnership will bring Chinese consumers unprecedented access to the world’s leading luxury brands. Chinese consumers are expected to account for nearly half of the global luxury market by 2025, and through this partnership, Alibaba and YNAP will be even better positioned to capture this compelling market opportunity.”