Alibaba to Expand Southeast Asian E-commerce Arm Lazada to Europe

Chinese tech giant Alibaba plans to expand its Southeast Asian e-commerce subsidiary Lazada’s business to Europe, seeking to promote overseas business growth amid slowing opportunities at home, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Alibaba is already present in Europe through its global e-commerce platform, AliExpress, which mainly targets consumers looking for goods from Chinese manufacturers such as smartphone accessories and clothing. Lazada plans to target local European vendors while AliExpress will continue to focus mainly on cross-border sales from China, one of the sources told Reuters. Lazada Thailand CEO James Dong will help spearhead the initiative.

Alibaba overseas commerce head Jiang Fan visited Singapore in April to discuss the expansion. The sources did not specify which European countries Lazada intended to expand to. The details were being finalized, they said.

Founded in 2012, Lazada has built its own logistics network relying on its control of the supply chain. At present, Lazada has more than 30 warehousing centers in 17 cities in Southeast Asia and has established self-operated warehouses, sorting centers and electronic technology facilities in several countries.

Alibaba had previously mentioned its intention to raise at least $1 billion for Lazada. However, Bloomberg reported at the end of February that the deal was called off since negotiations with potential investors became bogged down over the platform’s valuation.

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