Russian internet firm Mail.Ru partners Alipay for payments JV

Moscow, Russia. Photo by Michael Parulava on Unsplash

Russian internet company Mail.Ru said on Wednesday it had agreed a joint venture with Alipay, the mobile payments arm of Alibaba Group, along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and two other Russian partners.

The RDIF, Russian mobile group Megafon and Mail.Ru have also agreed to set up another joint venture with Alibaba called AliExpress Russia, RDIF’s Kirill Dmitriev told Reuters separately.

AliExpress, controlled by Russian shareholders, will target Russia’s rapidly growing e-commerce market which has annual turnover of more than $14 billion. Consumers will be able to use AliExpress to buy products online, including clothing and consumer electronics. The Alipay joint venture will go ahead once the AliExpress deal is completed, Mail.Ru said.

Dmitriev said that AliExpress would help small and mid-sized Russian companies to gain access to Asian markets.

RDIF has been playing an important role in developing Russia’s ties with other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Japan and China.

Russia has increased its ties with Asia and China since 2014 when it was first put under western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. Russia and China, for example, have developed closer links in areas such as oil production or gas purchases.

Mail.Ru said under the Alipay deal, RDIF, Megafon and USM holding, a Megafon and Mail.Ru shareholder, will set up the payment JV focusing on digital payment services for Russian users.

Alipay has around half a billion users and also operates in Europe, where it is used by Chinese tourists who are travelling around the world in increasing numbers.

Mail.Ru said Money.Mail.ru and VK Pay, part of its VKontakte social network, would be part of the payment JV. Mail.Ru will be its largest shareholder with 40%.

Reuters

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.