(Yicai Global) June 22 -- A Kremlin-backed project to market Russian fashion goods to Chinese consumers through the AliExpress online marketplace of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has failed after just 24 sales were completed in the seven months since the initiative began, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
The Russian trade ministry's 'Fashion Made in Russia' campaign went live on AliExpress last December. It invited 466 companies to join, but 369 declined because of a lack of interest in e-commerce. Those that accepted complained about poor translation software and trouble with foreign exchange. Two weeks after launch, there were around 100 participants left.
Alibaba [NYSE:BABA] blamed poor sales of Russian goods on "unreasonably high pricing and lack of originality." The Hangzhou-based company said the merchandise was priced much higher than similar products in China.
According to Mr. Mark Zavadsky, business development director for Russia and CIS Markets at AliExpress, Russian companies are totally unprepared for online operations, and the Russian version of AliExpress will continue to be developed.