Net-A-Porter made its debut in China in 2013, but it has faced significant challenges in a fiercely competitive digital market. Its sister platform, Outnet, exited China back in 2015.

Now, Richemont’s luxury e-commerce platform, Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP), is also pulling out of China. The move comes as weak consumer spending continues to strain high-end brands in the world’s second-largest economy.

According to a Richemont spokesperson, YNAP will redirect its investments and resources to focus on its core, more profitable markets. Net-A-Porter’s China operations were managed through a joint venture with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. called Feng Mao, which is currently in liquidation, as revealed by sources familiar with the matter.

Richemont, the Switzerland-based luxury group, is actively seeking to sell a majority stake in YNAP after a previous agreement with Farfetch Ltd. fell through. The company is in discussions with potential buyers and expects to provide an update before the end of the year, according to a recent earnings statement.

In contrast, last month saw a major announcement from LVMH and Alibaba. The two giants revealed plans to enhance the luxury experience in China by leveraging Alibaba’s cloud technologies and AI-powered innovations in retail, both online and on Tmall.

This strengthened partnership underscores a shared commitment to pioneering retail innovation and delivering exceptional, tech-driven luxury experiences. LVMH aims to boost its omnichannel, data, and tech presence in China through this collaboration.

Stephane Bianchi, Group Managing Director of LVMH, stated, “Alibaba is already a key partner for our Maisons and for the Group. The reinforcement of our partnership will help us to further accelerate our omni-channel business growth and leverage the transformative capabilities of cloud and AI technologies, along with Alibaba’s world-leading expertise in e-commerce operations. Our forward-looking collaboration will deliver unparalleled experiences to our clients throughout their high-end shopping journey.”

As Net-A-Porter exits and LVMH doubles down, the landscape of luxury retail in China continues to evolve, with technology playing a pivotal role in shaping future strategies.