Alibaba injects extra $912 million into Lazada
Alibaba has recently made a new investment worth $912 million (€912 million) in generalist e-tailer Lazada, determined to consolidate its presence in South-East Asia and to make Lazada its bridgehead into Europe. This investment is in addition to the $378.5 million Alibaba had invested in Lazada in May.
Lazada was created in 2012 under the aegis of German web incubator/investor Rocket Internet, as a version of Zalando catering to South-East Asia, and was acquired by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2016. First chiefly oriented towards fashion and cosmetics, Lazada's range has gradually broadened, with home appliances and electronics acquiring a growing importance.
Alibaba intends to consolidate its position in South-East Asia via Lazada, and to gradually grow the latter's valuation to $100 billion, but its plans do not stop there. Alibaba is facing slower growth in online sales in China, while its international business still only accounts for 5% of total revenue.
Because of this, Alibaba recently separated its international business from the rest of the group. And, above all, it hopes to launch Lazada, currently claiming to have 300 million users, onto the European market, turning it into a major growth driver.
An ambitious plan that is currently the responsibility of James Dong, who was put in charge of Lazada by Alibaba in the spring. In the fiscal year closed at the end of March, Alibaba recorded a 25% rise in its international sales, while its Chinese business grew by 18% in the same period. In the fiscal year in question, the Alibaba group generated a revenue of CHY853 billion (€123 billion), while operating income was CHY69 billion (€9.9 billion).
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