China's tech giant Alibaba announced Wednesday it will invest another one billion U.S. dollars in Singapore-based e-commerce startup Lazada, thereby increasing its stake from 51 to 83 percent, as Alibaba continues to explore the Southeast Asia market.
The Chinese firm already poured in one billion dollars in April to take control of Lazada from Rocket Internet SE, a German e-commerce company.
After the latest deal, Lazada will keep its own brand and retain its services to customers in Southeast Asia.
Its services cover Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, and the company runs about a dozen warehouses and scores of distribution centers from which it sends goods directly to buyers.
The Singapore-based online retailer plays an important role in Alibaba's global plan. Working together, they have brought products selected from Taobao, Alibaba's online trade platform, to customers in Singapore.
During a promotional campaign earlier this month, Alibaba opened a "Taobao Collection" site on Lazada Malaysia, which attracted over 30,000 Chinese merchants within a week to enter and sell their goods. More "Taobao Collection" sites are now expected to be launched this year to introduce more Chinese products to the Southeast Asian market.
Daniel Zhang, chief executive of Alibaba Group said that as one of the biggest local online retailers, Lazada shows signs of leadership in terms of its products and services, adding that Alibaba will enhance its input through Lazada to seize opportunities in Southeast Asia.