Both Alibaba and Richemont have formed a collaborative effort, with the former providing app development work for the latter's subsidiaries including Yoox Net-a-Porter as well as the male-centric Mr Porter. Alibaba will also be handling matters in the customer service department such as tech support, app maintenance, payments, and logistics.
The partnership has been seen as dubious by some. Richemont is the high-profile conglomerate that owns such jewelry industry giants as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, while Alibaba is the Chinese online megastore that is notorious for holding counterfeit and shady products.
However, this joint venture could lead to a profitable future outcome, since Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement that Chinese consumers will make up nearly half of the world's luxury market in 2025.
A report from Bloomberg told of Richemont chairman Johann Rupert sitting down with journalists in a conference call to discuss the partnership. “There’s not a luxury-goods company in the world that can catch up with where Alibaba is at," he said. "We simply don’t have the tools…. I don’t think there’s any doubt in anybody’s mind that the new luxury and new shopping experience will be in a different form.”
Rupert had also addressed concerns regarding Alibaba's suspected counterfeit products, saying that he wasn't worried. Richemont has been making plenty of business moves in 2018. Back in June, the conglomerate purchased pre-owned watch site Watchfinder.