>> Alibaba fancies a Louis Vuitton handbag. The Chinese giant of online shopping aims to strike deals with Europe's big names in posh goodies. Many of them, not least Louis Vuitton, have so far preferred to go it alone in the country. If you want one of its products in China, you'll have to go to a Vuitton store, online or a brick-and-mortar place.
Reuters luxury goods correspondent Sara White in Paris says, Alibaba and rival JD.com are determined to change that.>> So the luxury industry is still dominated nowadays by big European brands. They're pushing into China more and more because these clients are incredibly important. And at the same time, you've got Chinese e-commerce players who are looking to gain a bit of a foothold in this market.
It's somewhere where they're not very relevant still. But by teaming up with European brands, it's a way for them to try and benefit from this big boom in luxury spending in China.>> Both sides may need each other. Chinese shoppers account for a third of all luxury goods sales.
But European firms struggle to reach every part of that country's vast market unaided. Alibaba and company are desperate for a slice of that action. Many brands do play ball, but some of the really high-end names are playing hard to get. Not just Vuitton, but Hermes and Gucci too.
>> They are very reluctant to team up with third parties. For them, it's a question of protecting their prices, protecting their distribution. And so for the moment, these are brands that are not likely, in the near term, to team up with the likes of Alibaba and JD.com.>> Hermes might be the next to do a deal.
The maker of posh scarves has hinted as much. Gucci, though, has clear, red lines. It might do a deal if the websites really crack down on fake luxury goods. Vuitton, though, that looks like a tougher nut to crack.