Alibaba dials up luxury push with US$2 billion buy of Netease e-commerce arm

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Alibaba Group has agreed to buy e-commerce business Kaola from Chinese gaming company NetEase for US$2 billion, adding a platform that specializes ...

SHANGHAI: Alibaba Group has agreed to buy e-commerce business Kaola from Chinese gaming company NetEase for US$2 billion, adding a platform that specializes in supplying curated luxury goods from abroad to domestic consumers.

Kaola, launched by NetEase in 2015, aggressively targets shoppers in China by offering products from top brands such as Gucci, Shisheido and Burberry, primarily sourcing goods directly from suppliers to resell to consumers. "Kaola does not have to share user time or basket space with cheaper, non-imported products," said Zheng.Kaola and Yanxuan, another NetEase-run line of private-label, company-branded goods, accounted for nearly half the gaming company's revenue in the June quarter.The Kaola deal will boost Alibaba's access to wealthy Chinese buyers, who account for more than a third of the luxury goods sector's worldwide revenues, as online sales slow at home.

 

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