losangelesnewstoday.com June 18, 2018

Alibaba to Invest Extra $2b in Lazada in Aggressive Southeast Asian Expansion

20 March 2018, 04:24 | Maryann Sutton

Employees at online retailer Lazada fill orders at the company's warehouse in Jakarta Indonesia

Employees at online retailer Lazada fill orders at the company's warehouse in Jakarta Indonesia

Alibaba Group will invest a further US$2 billion into Singapore-based e-commerce company Lazada as part of its effort to accelerate the region's e-commerce development.

In addition, Alibaba co-founder Lucy Peng was named as Lazada's CEO. The statement didn't specify how much of the company Alibaba will own after the latest investment. Current Lazada chairman Lucy Peng will assume the role of CEO to drive growth strategies.

Lazada, which Alibaba acquired 83 percent in past year, has operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and its headquarters in Singapore. In August, Alibaba also invested $1.1 billion in Tokopedia, Indonesia's largest online marketplace. Peng is one of the 18 founders and a senior partner in the Alibaba Group.

It follows a year of brisk expansion in Southeast Asia by the Chinese e-commerce giant and its payment affiliate Ant Financial, as it faces off against the world's biggest online retailer Amazon.com Inc and fellow Chinese retailer JD.com Inc to tap new consumers in the region.

"The investment underscores Alibaba's confidence in the future success of Lazada's business and the growth prospect of the Southeast Asian market, a region that is a key part of Alibaba's global growth strategy", Alibaba said in a statement. She will be tasked with doubling down on Southeast Asia as the region has a young population and high mobile penetration rate, with just 3% of the region's sales now conducted online, the statement read.

U.S. trade groups raise concerns over Trump planned tariffs on China
Manufactured products comprised more than 85 percent of exported goods from the U.S. in 2017, totaling $1.3 trillion, the trade associations said.

The online retailer conducts operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Amazon entered the foray last year, but it remains only in Singapore, while Shopee is a two-year-old entrant bankrolled by Sea, formerly Garena, which raised over $1 billion in a U.S. IPO last year.

Southeast Asia is an important aspect of Alibaba's global expansion and a thriving region that Chinese arch-foe JD.com Inc.is also targeting.

Internet economy in the region is projected to grow to $200 billion by 2025, primarily driven by growth in e-commerce.

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