Lazada expands Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace in Southeast Asia

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Online retailer Lazada Group said it will sell select items from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Taobao marketplace in three more countries in Southeast Asia, expanding the partnership between the two e-commerce firms.

Taobao Collection will be offered in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand in the next few weeks through Lazada’s platform, it said in a statement on Monday. Lazada began selling Taobao products in Singapore and Malaysia earlier this year.

In June, Alibaba invested an additional $1 billion in Lazada to boost its stake to 83 percent.

“This is a true testament to the way the Lazada and Alibaba teams have come together to build the business in a fast and efficient way combining consumer insights, technology know-how and local expertise,” said Aimone Ripa di Meana, Lazada’s chief marketplace officer.

The products are curated to appeal to local tastes in the different countries and will be offered in the respective local languages on the Lazada sites, the company said.

Lazada, launched in 2012, is headquartered in Singapore and also operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Southeast Asia is becoming a new battleground for e-commerce companies that are hoping to grab a piece of the market of 600 million people where only a fraction of total retail sales are currently conducted online. Inc launched its Prime Now quick delivery service in Singapore in July, while Inc and top Thai retailer Central Group are forming a $500 million joint venture in e-commerce and financial technology.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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