Alibaba to invest additional 1.44 billion pounds in Lazada, replaces CEO

Alibaba to invest additional 1.44 billion pounds in Lazada, replaces CEO

Alibaba is increasing its control of Lazada, its e-commerce marketplace in Southeast Asia it acquired control of in 2016, after it injected another $2 billion into the business and replaced its CEO with a long-standing Alibaba executive. 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.

According to a statement today, Lucy Peng who is already chairman of Lazada would take over as chief executive officer. Last year, it upped its stake to 83% with another $1 billion.

Mr Paul Coutts, CEO of Singapore Post, which is backed by Alibaba, said that any investment of a significant magnitude will accelerate the growth of e-commerce in Singapore and the region. Peng, one of the 18 founders and a senior partner in the Alibaba Group, said the region is a hot spot for growth and exciting opportunities.

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

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

It has tapped a top executive to run the business, as it takes on rivals such as tech titan Amazon in an aggressive expansion in the region. Indonesian firm Shopee is a rapidly growing new entrant in the sector that raised over $1 billion in a US IPO last year, despite being only two years old.

Alibaba has further stated that its association with Lazada will fulfill its business objective of becoming a huge player across the Southeast Asian eCommerce market. She will be tasked with doubling down on Southeast Asia as the region has a young population and high mobile penetration rate, with just 3% of the region's sales now conducted online, the statement read. The firm also invested $1.1 billion in Tokopedia which competes with Lazada in Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy and the world's fourth most populous country.

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