Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) said it will invest an extra $2 billion in Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada Group and tapped a top executive to run the business, as it takes on rivals such as tech titan Amazon in an aggressive expansion in the region.
One of the 18 founders of Alibaba, veteran executive Lucy Peng will take over as Lazada’s chief executive, replacing founder Max Bittner who will become a senior adviser to Alibaba.
Alibaba’s stake will increase to an undisclosed size following the latest investment, a spokeswoman told Reuters. It held an 83 percent stake prior to the investment, which now doubles to $4 billion from a $2 billion infusion over the past two years.
“The investment underscores Alibaba’s confidence in the future success of Lazada’s business and the growth prospect of the Southeast Asian market, a region that is a key part of Alibaba’s global growth strategy,” Alibaba said in a statement.
Backed by large cash piles and soaring stock prices, Alibaba’s new funding in loss-making Lazada underlines an ambitious global push to secure a bigger share of the fast-growing multi-billion dollar e-commerce market.