Yoox Net-A-Porter has joined forces with online titan Alibaba to create a “luxury retail platform” in China.

Under the joint venture, the business will launch two smartphone apps for YNAP’s Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter brands.

Alibaba will provide the technology infrastructure, marketing and payment capabilities for the two apps.

As part of the deal, Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter will also open online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion, which the Chinese etailer launched in 2017.

Johann Rupert, chairman of YNAP owner Richemont, said: “Chinese customers at home and abroad are an increasingly important customer base for Richemont and for the broader luxury industry.

“Our digital offering in China is in its infancy and we believe that partnering with Alibaba will enable us to become a significant and sustainable online player in this market.”

YNAP boss Federico Marchetti added that the business saw “immense potential” in the Chinese market.

Alibaba boss Daniel Zhang said: “This multi-faceted partnership will bring Chinese consumers unprecedented access to the world’s leading luxury brands.

“Chinese consumers are expected to account for nearly half of the global luxury market by 2025, and through this partnership, Alibaba and YNAP will be even better positioned to capture this compelling market opportunity.

“We believe this announcement is just the beginning of a long-term partnership, and together we are committed to exploring many more opportunities to collaborate in the future.”