Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba has announced a $1bn deal to take a controlling stake in its Southeast Asian counterpart Lazada, as it looks to expand beyond China’s increasingly saturated market.
As well as taking roughly $500m in new shares, the Chinese group is replacing big-name European investors such as Rocket Internet, the Berlin-based start-up incubator, and Tesco, the UK supermarket chain, which are selling down significant stakes in Lazada.
The deal, announced yesterday, sees Alibaba join a number of large Chinese companies, including Anbang Insurance and Dalian Wanda, which are hunting for foreign acquisitions.
昨日宣布的这项交易令阿里巴巴加入寻找境外收购目标的很多中国大企业的行列，包括安邦保险(Anbang Insurance)和大连万达(Dalian Wanda)。
“Globalisation is a critical strategy for the growth of Alibaba Group today and well into the future,” Michael Evans, Alibaba president, said. “With the investment in Lazada, Alibaba gains access to a platform with a large and growing consumer base outside China.”
The relatively untapped Southeast Asia market is attractive to Alibaba as the Chinese ecommerce sector appears saturated with a slowdown in quarterly revenue growth. Ecommerce accounts for about 3 per cent of retail sales in Southeast Asia compared with 8-10 per cent in China.