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Alibaba to invest additional 1.44 billion pounds in Lazada, replaces CEO
20 March 2018, 04:23 | Vickie Mathis
Alibaba Invests a Further US$2 Billion in Lazada to Accelerate Region's E-Commerce
Alibaba Group (BABA) on Monday said it will invest another $2 billion into Southeast Asian online shopping giant Lazada Group in an effort to further expand its e-commerce operations.
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. The statement didn't specify how much of the company Alibaba will own after the latest investment. Peng will take the place of Max Bittner, who will join Alibaba as a senior adviser.
There is clearly a lot of opportunities available in Southeast Asian e-commerce, and Alibaba increasing its stake in Lazada is a sign of the firm's commitment to growth in the region. The company held a 83% stake in Lazada before the investment, which now stands at 4 billion United States dollars after the 2 billion USD injection over the past two years. Peng is one of the 18 founders and a senior partner in Alibaba.
The Lazada acquisition also invites a showdown against fellow Chinese retailer JD.com Inc., which last fall formed a $500 million joint venture with Thailand's top retailer Central Group to boost its e-commerce presence in the region.
"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 said to Reuters.
The latest move brings Alibaba's total investment in Lazada to $4 billion.
The China-based conglomerate now operates in more than 200 countries, recently putting down $20 million in Rent the Runway and beginning operations in its first Indonesia-based data center through its cloud computing arm, Alibaba Cloud.
According to an official statement, Alibaba's decision to invest in Lazada will not only strengthen its business relationships but will help the Singapore based eCommerce firm explore the eCommerce tools & resources of Alibaba. Last year, the retail titan ramped up its takeover with the launch of its two-hour Prime delivery in Singapore.
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