Alibaba Says ‘Not True’ to Reports of Interest in Yoox Net-A-Porter

China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group rejected a Chinese media report that claimed a possible tie-up between the company and the Italian luxury e-tailer Yoox Net-a-Porter, according to a report on June 28 published by South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba Group.

The Hong Kong-based news site cited an anonymous source, saying that the report by Ladymax “is not true” and they had no idea how the rumor started.

On June 26, the domestic fashion media Ladymax exclusively reported that Alibaba had been in touch with Yoox Net-a-Porter to explore a potential partnership and that the e-commerce giant did not rule out the possibility of acquisition. The report was picked up by international media outlets such as Reuters and the New York Times.

The report came closely on the heels of the news that the nation’s second-largest e-commerce firm JD.com had invested nearly $400 million in the British e-tailer Farfetch. The longtime battle between Alibaba and JD.com to attract luxury brands in furtherance of the expansion of their luxury portfolios lent credence to the reported deal.

The European financial markets reacted to the Ladymax report, leading the stock price of Milan-listed Yoox Net-a-Porter Group to go up nearly 9 percent on June 26. The Reuters report said that traders cited Ladymax’s report as the reason for the price jump.

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