Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Alibaba To Invest A Further $2 Billion Into Lazada

Alibaba To Invest A Further $2 Billion Into Lazada

ALIBABA Group will invest a further US$2 billion into Singapore-based e-commerce company Lazada, and Lucy Peng - one of Alibaba's 18 co-founders and current chairman of Lazada - will take over as chief executive officer (CEO) of Lazada.

"Lazada has been an extremely entrepreneurial organization led by Max Bittner". This brings the total amount invested in Lazada by Alibaba to US$4 billion, to date.

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.

"If India was the first key battleground between US and Chinese vertical-leaders, then Southeast Asia is surely the second", said Lloyd.

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Including Monday's announcement, Alibaba will have ponied up a total of $4 billion to invest into Lazada, which has operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. "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", said Peng. Lazada founder Max Bittner, who had been its chief executive officer since 2012, will assume the role of senior advisor to Alibaba Group and assist in the transition and future global growth strategies.

The appointment of Peng signals the importance of Southeast Asia in Alibaba's overseas expansion plan.

The move follows a year of aggressive expansion in South-east Asia by Alibaba and its payment affiliate Ant Financial, as it faces off against Amazon Inc and fellow Chinese retailer JD.com Inc to tap new consumers in the region amid slowing growth in China's e-commerce market.

Lazada has progressed significantly since Alibaba's first investment - which came at a time when the business had been close to running out of money - but the reality in Southeast Asia is that e-commerce in the region is a loss-making industry with plenty of competition.

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