Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Alibaba doubles Lazada investment to $5.3b

Alibaba's new commitment of capital and resources is good for Lazada and good for the Southeast Asia e-commerce market Alibaba Will Invest Another $2 Billion in Online Mall Lazada
Kelvin Reese | 20 March, 2018, 04:24

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. Alibaba Co-founder and Ant Financial Executive Chairman Lucy Peng will replace Maximilian Bittner as CEO, in addition to her existing role as Lazada Chairwoman.

Alibaba's stake will increase to an undisclosed amount following the latest investment, a spokeswoman told Reuters.

For the record, Alibaba had invested almost Dollars 2 billion in Lazada Group during the last two years for acquiring a controlling stake in the firm. Peng is one of the 18 founders and a senior partner in the Alibaba Group.

Southeast Asia is a lucrative market for e-commerce players as millions of first-generation internet users embrace online shopping.

There is clearly a lot of opportunities available in Southeast Asian e-commerce, and Alibaba increasing its stake in Lazada is a sign of the firm's commitment to growth in the region.

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Alongside the investment, Alibaba said that the start-up would also have a new CEO.

Peng knows this too well, saying in a statement that due to the "young population, high mobile penetration and just 3 percent of the region's retail sales now conducted online", Alibaba is extremely confident in its decision to double down on the region.

The Lazada acquisition also invites a showdown against fellow Chinese retailer JD.com Inc., which last fall formed a $500 million joint venture with Thailand's top retailer Central Group to boost its e-commerce presence in the region.

Last year, Amazon entered the market for the first time by launching its express, same-day delivery service, Prime Now, in Singapore.

"We continue to focus on initiatives that unlock the full potential of the e-commerce market that these investments create, to advance SingPost's transformation into a leading postal and e-commerce logistics company", he said.

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