Alibaba has increased its stake in Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada from 51 per cent to approximately 83 per cent.

The deal values Lazada at US$3.15 billion, reflecting a significant increase in the value of Lazada since Alibaba first acquired its majority stake in April 2016.

Lazada, which will continue to operate under the same brand, gives Alibaba access to the 560 million consumers in the region via its marketplaces in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. With only 3 per cent of the region’s total retail sales conducted online, Alibaba believes Southeast Asia offers tremendous growth potential.

Alibaba’s total investment in Lazada is now more than US$2 billion. To date Alibaba’s cash has allowed Lazada to invest its marketplace, technology, payments and logistics.

“As a market leader, Lazada has demonstrated its ability to execute and further lead the region in products and services with the best consumer experience in Southeast Asia while growing a strong ecosystem that supports small businesses going online,” said Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group.

“The e-commerce markets in the region are still relatively untapped, and we see a very positive upward trajectory ahead of us. We will continue to put our resources to work in Southeast Asia through Lazada to capture these growth opportunities,” he added.

Maximilian Bittner, CEO of Lazada Group, said, “I couldn’t be more excited to deepen our relationship with Alibaba. With their support, we will continue to empower brands and sellers to offer a wide selection of unique assortment to consumers across Southeast Asia while delivering an exceptional customer experience backed by our best-in-class logistics network.”

During the past 12 months, both Lazada and Alibaba worked on a number of initiatives to advance e-commerce in Southeast Asia to lower barriers and facilitate borderless commerce. These initiatives include the establishment of an e-fulfillment center in Malaysia which forms part of Alibaba’s Electronic World Trading Platform (eWTP) strategy, advancing “Thailand 4.0”, and launching Taobao Collection in Singapore and Malaysia allowing local customers to shop for high quality products from China.

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