HONG KONG–Alibaba has doubled its investment into Lazada–funneling another $2 billion to the Southeast Asian e-commerce operator–and appointed one of its own founding executives to lead the company, Alibaba said Monday.
Lucy Peng, who currently serves as Lazada’s chairman and is one of Alibaba’s 18 founders, will assume the additional role of chief executive officer, replacing Max Bittner, who has led the company since 2012. Bittner will serve as a senior adviser to Alibaba Group, the statement said.
Lazada is the region’s top e-commerce platform operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Alibaba acquired control of Lazada in 2016 with an investment of $1 billion and further increased its stake to 83 percent with another $1 billion investment in 2017.
“With a young population, high mobile penetration and just 3 percent of the region’s retail sales currently conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia,” Peng said. “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 super- charged growth.”
Lazada counts over 145,000 sellers and 3,000 brands on its marketplace, serving 560 million consumers throughout the region. The region’s online economy is expected to be worth $200 billion by 2025, a report from Google and Singapore’s Temasek said.
Last August, Alibaba also invested $1.1 billion into Tokopedia, Indonesia’s largest online marketplace.