Alibaba invests extra US$2bn in Lazada Group

Alibaba Will Invest Another $2 Billion in Online Mall Lazada

"It's a sign of how seriously Alibaba perceive the growth opportunity, and competitive threats, in Southeast Asia", said James Lloyd, Asia-Pacific fintech leader at EY.

Following the investment, Lucy Peng, who now serves as Lazada Group chairwoman, will take over the role of chief executive officer, replacing founder Max Bittner, who will become a senior advisor to Alibaba.

Alibaba's stake will increase to an undisclosed size following the latest investment, a spokeswoman told Reuters.

With today's news, Alibaba has invested $4 billion to date which it said will "accelerate the growth plans" and help further tie the Lazada business into Alibaba's core e-commerce service. Former CEO Max Bittner will continue as "senior advisor to Alibaba Group" and, as TechCrunch reports, will be likely involved in future strategy planning, including the platform's expansion into worldwide markets. Also, Lazada chairwoman Lucy Peng will now also take on the role of CEO.

Supported by huge revenue and rising prices of Alibaba's shares, its new financing at Lazada underscores the ambitious global drive to secure a larger share of the billions of dollars of a rapidly expanding online trading market.




"Lazada is well-positioned for the next phase of development and of Internet-enabled commerce in this region", Ms Peng said.

The Southeast Asia e-commerce wars are heating up. On Monday, Alibaba announced it would invest $2 billion in an online retailer.

Peng knows this too well, saying in a statement that due to the "young population, high mobile penetration and just 3 percent of the region's retail sales now conducted online", Alibaba is extremely confident in its decision to double down on the region.

Lazada operates online retail platforms across Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore and is the leading e-commerce provider in the region, with about 560 million consumers using the platform. Global e-commerce giant Amazon entered the region past year, but is so far active only in Singapore.

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