Alibaba had paid $1 billion for a controlling stake in the internet shopping platform last year. Based in Singapore, Lazada operates in six markets including Indonesia and the Philippines. The Chinese internet giant said Wednesday it is plowing an additional $1 billion into Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada Group, raising its stake to 83% from 51%.

Alibaba, the owner of China’s two most popular online retail sites, Taobao and Tmall, has made globalization a key focus of the firm’s expansion plans as competition at home intensifies. Company founder and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma recently traveled to Detroit to make a pitch alongside celebrities such as Martha Stewart, to attract U.S. businesses to sell on its platforms.

Launched in 2012 as an online platform buying products, warehousing them and selling the goods directly to consumers, Lazada accelerated its shift to a model similar to Alibaba’s Tmall after the Chinese company’s acquisition last year. Lazada now runs online storefronts for small regional merchants and international brands including Samsung Electronics Co. and L’Oréal SA.

The region holds promise as incomes are rising and consumers are increasingly getting online via low-cost smartphones. Southeast Asia is poised to become one of the world’s fastest-growing regions for e-commerce revenues, exceeding $25 billion by 2020

We’ve been concerned for a decade — before iPhone BTW — about China’s bad lending practices. Maybe there’ll be a crash, maybe the crazy advances in technology will bail them out, maybe a combination of the two. We’ll see.

One Response to “Meanwhile”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    Political gridlock putting Hong Kong into decline? Or is it the Mainland’s appointed toadies that are the problem?

    The article focuses on public/taxpayer funded projects and mentions little about the economic climate.

    Once a Model City, Hong Kong Is in Trouble

Leave a Reply