Southeast Asia | Alibaba buys control of Lazada in $1 billion bet on SE Asia e-commerce

Alibaba buys control of Lazada in $1 billion bet on SE Asia e-commerce

April 12, 2016 12:09 PM (UTC+8)

 

(From Reuters)

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group for about $1 billion, its biggest deal overseas, as the Chinese e-commerce giant seeks fertile new turf while growth slows at home.

Alibaba HQ sign in Hangzhou, China
Alibaba HQ sign in Hangzhou, China

Lazada, founded by Germany’s Rocket Internet in 2012, is headquartered in Singapore and also operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. That affords Alibaba a chance to tap the region’s growth potential, but the market is also competitive and fragmented, with only a tiny fraction of total retail sales currently conducted online.

“Southeast Asia has a lot of overlap with China in terms of consumer habits, intra-regional trade and tastes,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of investment advisory firm BDA China and author of a book on Alibaba.

“Rocket in this case has managed to create a successful, multi-market player in a region which needs scale and breadth to be viable. This has obvious appeal to Alibaba.” Read more

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