Alibaba looks to expand Lazada to Europe: Sources

SINGAPORE/SHANGHAI (REUTERS) – Alibaba Group plans to expand its South-east Asian arm, Lazada, to Europe, two sources conversant in the matter advised Reuters, because the Chinese e-commerce firm seeks additional abroad progress amid slowing alternatives at dwelling.

The transfer comes months after Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao, opened a central hub for European gross sales in Belgium.

Alibaba is already current in Europe by its international e-commerce platform, AliExpress, which primarily targets shoppers in search of such items from Chinese producers as smartphone equipment and clothes.

Lazada plans to goal native European distributors, whereas AliExpress will proceed to focus primarily on cross-border gross sales from China, one of many sources advised Reuters. Lazada Thailand chief govt James Dong will assist spearhead the initiative, that particular person stated.

Alibaba abroad commerce head Jiang Fan visited Singapore in April to talk about the growth, the identical supply added.

Lazada and Alibaba didn’t instantly reply to requests from Reuters for remark.

The sources didn’t specify which European nations Lazada supposed to expand to. The particulars have been being finalised, they stated. They declined to be recognized, as they weren’t authorised to converse to the media.

In China, Alibaba has confronted robust competitors from such rivals as Pinduoduo and ByteDance subsidiary Douyin, whereas new laws have restricted alternatives for growth.

Lazada was based in 2012 by Germany’s Rocket Internet know-how incubator to turn out to be South-east Asia’s reply to Amazon.com. Alibaba acquired a controlling stake in it for about US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) in 2016 in what was the Chinese agency’s greatest international deal on the time.

Alibaba stated in December final 12 months it had set targets for the South-east Asian market of US$100 billion in gross merchandise quantity and 300 million customers.

Lazada generated US$21 billion in gross merchandise quantity within the 12 months to end-September 2021 and had 159 million customers, as competitors intensified with bigger rival Shopee, owned by Sea.

Shopee itself has expanded globally, coming into such markets as Poland, Spain and France final 12 months. But it withdrew from India and France in March, going through a weak progress outlook.

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