20 March, 2018
Chinese multinational and e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced that it is investing an additional $2.6 billion in digital marketplace Lazada, a major player in the Southeast Asian e-commerce market, and appointing one of its most senior executives as the firm's new CEO.
In addition, Alibaba co-founder Lucy Peng was named as Lazada's CEO.
Alibaba's stake will increase to an undisclosed amount following the latest investment, a spokeswoman told Reuters.
Meanwhile, Lazada founder Max Bittner - who has served as CEO since 2012 - will take on the role of senior advisor to Alibaba to assist in the transition and future global growth strategy.
This move brings Alibaba's total investment in Lazada to US$4 billion. 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.More news: Birthday boy Aamir dedicates 1st Instagram post to mother
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.
"Lazada is well-positioned for the next phase of development of Internet-enabled commerce in this region, and we are excited about the incredible opportunities for supercharged growth", Peng added.
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.
Running in 2012, Lazada operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The latter began offering products from Alibaba's Taobao marketplace across Southeast Asia past year, and Alibaba has replaced Lazada's tech team leadership with executives of its own.