Alibaba to invest additional US$2 billion in Lazada

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N said it will invest an additional $2 billion (1.44 billion pounds) in Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada Group as part of the Chinese firm's push into new markets.

"With a young population, high mobile penetration and just 3% of the region's retail sales now conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia", said Lazada Chairwoman Lucy Peng, who will assume the additional role of chief executive.

Taking into account the recent announcement, Alibaba has already invested a total of $4 billion on Lazada.

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.

Alibaba said yesterday that this latest move is part of the group's effort to accelerate the region's e-commerce development, and will "deepen Lazada's integration into the Alibaba ecosystem". Ms. Peng is one of Alibaba's 18 founders and a senior partner in the Alibaba Partnership.

The Southeast Asia e-commerce wars are heating up.

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"Lazada is well-positioned for the next phase of development of Internet-enabled commerce in this region, and we are excited about the incredible opportunities for supercharged growth", Peng added.

"With a young population, high mobile penetration and just three per cent of the region's retail sales now conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on South East Asia", she said.

The region's online economy is expected to grow by as much as $200 billion by 2025, with this growth largely driven by eCommerce.

Launched in 2012, Lazada boasts more than 145,000 local and worldwide sellers and 3,000 brands throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

According to commentators, Southeast Asia is an important aspect of Alibaba's global expansion and a thriving region that Chinese archival JD.com Inc is also targeting. Last year, the retail titan ramped up its takeover with the launch of its two-hour Prime delivery in Singapore.

  • Ronnie Bowen