Alibaba Will Invest Another $2 Billion in Online Mall Lazada

Alibaba Will Invest Another $2 Billion in Online Mall Lazada

Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group Holding will invest another 2 billion United States dollars in the South East Asia e-commerce company Lazada Group and will compete with rivals like the American Amazon, which is expanding actively in the region. Lucy Peng, Lazada's current chairwoman and Alibaba co-founder, will be taking over as CEO from current chief Maximilian Bittner. The statement didn't specify how much of the company Alibaba will own after the latest investment.

In a statement published on the Lazada website today (19 March), it was also announced that Lucy Peng, who now serves as Lazada's Chairman, will assume the additional role of chief executive officer.

Alibaba first invested in Lazada in April 2016 when it pumped in $1 billion into the Indonesian company, in exchange for a 51 percent controlling stake.

The region's internet economy is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2025, primarily driven by growth in e-commerce.

"The investment highlights Alibaba's confidence in Lazada's future business success and Southeast Asian growth prospects, a region that is a key part of Alibaba's global growth strategy", said the Chinese technology giant in official statement. 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 global markets.

Southeast Asia is a lucrative market for e-commerce players as millions of first-generation internet users embrace online shopping.

"With a young population, high mobile penetration and just three per cent of the region's retail sales now conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on South East Asia", she said. It also serves more than 560 million consumers throughout the region.

Alibaba's doubling down in Southeast Asia comes just three months after Amazon launched its Prime service in Singapore.

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

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