Alibaba to invest extra $2.63 billion in Lazada Group

Alibaba to invest extra $2.63 billion in Lazada Group

Alibaba to invest extra $2.63 billion in Lazada Group

Alibaba Group said it will be investing United States dollars 2 billion more into Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada, bringing the total invested in the platform by Alibaba to USD 4 billion.

In addition to the funding, Alibaba said Lucy Peng, senior partner in Alibaba Partnership, . The statement didn't specify how much of the company Alibaba will own after the latest investment.

Peng, who is one of Alibaba's original 12 founders, has been Chairwoman of Lazada and is executive chairman of Ant Financial, Alibaba's fintech affiliate company. In 2016, Alibaba acquired control of Lazada with an investment of $1 billion and boosted its stake to 83 percent in 2017 with another investment of $1 billion.

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

It follows a year of brisk expansion in Southeast Asia by the Chinese e-commerce giant and its payment affiliate Ant Financial, as it faces off against the world's biggest online retailer Amazon.com Inc and fellow Chinese retailer JD.com Inc to tap new consumers in the region.

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"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.

Online retail sales in China are off to a strong start for the year, creating upside potential for Alibaba.

Launched in 2012, Lazada operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Alibaba's stake will increase to an undisclosed amount following the latest investment, a spokesman said. On Monday, Alibaba announced it would invest $2 billion in an online retailer.

Last year, Amazon entered the market for the first time by launching its express, same-day delivery service, Prime Now, in Singapore.

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