The parties inked the deal at a Vladivostok economic forum attended by President Vladimir Putin and Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma. The Chinese company had been negotiating a similar deal with Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, but abandoned talks after the lender partnered with Yandex instead. Alibaba recently rolled out Tmall for Russia after winning consumers through AliExpress.
Ma, who started Alibaba.com in 1999 as a business-to-business marketplace with 17 co-founders, this week announced plans to step back from the Chinese e-commerce titan. His company, which is pushing into overseas markets from Southeast Asia to Russia, last year saw daily package deliveries reach 55 million.