Alibaba Group Holdings plans another $2-bn investment in Lazada Group SA

Alibaba Group Holdings plans another $2-bn investment in Lazada Group SA

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.

It held an 83 percent stake prior to the investment, which now doubles to Dollars 4 billion from a USD 2 billion infusion over the past two years.

One of the 18 founders of Alibaba, veteran executive Lucy Peng will take over as Lazada's chief executive, replacing founder Max Bittner who will become a senior adviser to Alibaba. Bittner will remain involved as "senior advisor to Alibaba Group" and apparently involved in future strategy, including further global expansion opportunities.

"With a young population, high mobile penetration and just three percent of the region's retail sales now conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia", said Peng, who is also the executive chair at Ant Financial. The latter began offering products from Alibaba's Taobao marketplace across Southeast Asia a year ago, and Alibaba has replaced Lazada's tech team leadership with executives of its own. That doubles the original $2 billion the tech giant has already invested in the business in recent years - which saw Alibaba have an existing 83% holding of the etailer.

Speaking of the decision to increase their stake in Lazada, she had this to say: "With a young population, high mobile penetration and just three percent of the region's retail sales now conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia". Peng is now the chairwoman of the Southeast Asia firm.

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

"Alibaba's new commitment of capital and resources is good for Lazada and good for the Southeast Asia e-commerce market", said Bittner.

Amazon entered the market for the first time past year, with the launch of its express, same-day delivery service, Prime Now in Singapore.

Alibaba are raising the stakes to overtake Amazon in South East Asia.

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