Alibaba doubles down on investing in Lazada Group

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It held an 83 percent stake prior to the investment, which now doubles to $4 billion from a $2 billion infusion over the past two years.

Meanwhile, Lazada founder Max Bittner, who has been its CEO since 2012, will assume the role of senior advisor to Alibaba Group and assist in the transition and future global growth strategies. It then boosted its stake to 83 percent in 2017 with another Dollars 1 billion. Peng will take the place of Max Bittner, who will join Alibaba as a senior adviser. The new investment, which comes after Alibaba spent about $2 billion buying control of Lazada, gives the cash burning business much needed ammunition for technology development and customer acquisition.

"Lazada is well-positioned for the next phase of development of Internet-enabled commerce in this region, and we are excited about the incredible opportunities for supercharged growth", Peng added.

Alibaba has further stated that its association with Lazada will fulfill its business objective of becoming a huge player across the Southeast Asian eCommerce market. Former CEO Max Bittner will continue as "senior advisor to Alibaba Group" and, as TechCrunch reports, will be likely involved in future strategy planning, including the platform's expansion into worldwide markets.

The Southeast Asia e-commerce wars are heating up.

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According to commentators, Southeast Asia is an important aspect of Alibaba's global expansion and a thriving region that Chinese archival JD.com Inc is also targeting.

Despite Peng's account that just about three percent of the region's overall retail sales are conducted online, tech companies have continued to flex their muscles in Southeast Asia.

Alibaba operates in more than 200 countries and has more than 500 million people using its shopping apps every month, allowing Lazada to tap more of the e-commerce giant's resources.

Launched in 2012 and headquartered in Singapore, Lazada also has a presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Global e-commerce giant Amazon entered the region a year ago, but is so far active only in Singapore.

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