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June 29, 2017

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Alibaba puts US$1b more into Lazada

CHINESE e-commerce giant Alibaba said yesterday that it would inject another US$1 billion into Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada, as the cashed-up company increases its stake in the region’s nascent online shopping market.

Alibaba’s holding in Lazada will rise to 83 percent from 51 percent, taking its total investment to more than US$2 billion.

“The e-commerce markets in the region are still relatively untapped and we see a very positive upward trajectory ahead of us,” said Alibaba Chief Executive Daniel Zhang, estimating only 3 percent of Southeast Asia’s retail sales are online.

Alibaba, founded by China’s richest man Jack Ma, is a dominant player in the online commerce market as shoppers increasingly shun bricks-and-mortar stores.

This month, Alibaba forecast annual revenue growth of 45-49 percent. Its net profit almost doubled in the quarter ended on March 31.

Alibaba’s Taobao platform is estimated to hold more than 90 percent of China’s consumer-to-consumer market, while its Tmall platform is believed to handle over half of business-to-consumer transactions. But its international commerce business accounted for only 10 percent of revenue in the last quarter.



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