E-commerce giant Alibaba Group is raising its stake in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group to 83 percent, stepping up focus on a key overseas market.
The Chinese company said on Wednesday it is investing an additional US$1 billion in Lazada to boost its stake from the current 51 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Alibaba had paid US$1 billion for a controlling stake in the Singapore-based online shopping platform last year.
A Lazada spokesman was quoted as saying that the latest deal values his firm at US$3.15 billion, up from a US$1.5 billion valuation seen in Alibaba’s 2016 stake purchase.
Alibaba is said to have bought out stakes from previous investors such as Swedish investment firm Kinnevik and German technology incubator Rocket Internet.
The Chinese company has made globalization a key focus of its expansion plans as competition at home intensifies.
Lazada operates in six markets in Southeast Asia including Indonesia and the Philippines.
Launched in 2012 as an online platform buying products, warehousing them and selling the goods directly to consumers, Lazada accelerated its shift to a model similar to Alibaba’s Tmall after the Chinese company’s acquisition last year, the Journal noted.
Lazada now runs online storefronts for small regional merchants and international brands including Samsung Electronics and L’Oréal.
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