Alibaba Raises Stake in Southeast Asia's Lazada

Alibaba Raises Stake in Southeast Asia's Lazada

Alibaba Raises Stake in Southeast Asia's Lazada

In a move that is sure to have air cargo repercussions in the near future, the owners of China's Alibaba e-commerce marketplace have sent a message to rival Amazon by doubling its initial US$2 billion investment in Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada Group to $4 billion. Lucy Peng, the CEO of Ant Financial, will apparently occupy the post of the chief executive at Lazada Group, while Bittner is expected to work as a senior advisor for the Singapore eCommerce firm.

Alibaba's share will increase to an unnamed figure since the last investment.

The company did not disclose how its stake will change with the latest investment, but it's safe to say that Alibaba is gearing up for an intense battle in South East Asia, following Amazon's launch in Singapore and Shopee's recent expansion to win consumers.

Alibaba first invested in Lazada in April 2016 when it pumped in $1 billion into the Indonesian company, in exchange for a 51 percent controlling stake. Peng was one of Alibaba's 18 founders and a senior partner at Alibaba Partnership.

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Speaking after the announcement, Lucy said, "With a young population, high mobile penetration and just 3 percent of the region's retail sales now conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia.Lazada is well-positioned for the next phase of development and of Internet-enabled commerce in this region".

According to commentators, Southeast Asia is a lucrative market for e-commerce players as millions of first-generation internet users go online for shopping.

Alibaba said it would invest an additional $2 billion in the e-commerce business. "With a young population, high mobile penetration and just 3 per cent of the region's retail sales now conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on South-east Asia".

Running in 2012, Lazada operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Global e-commerce giant Amazon entered the region previous year, but is so far active only in Singapore.

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