Amazon, Alibaba open Southeast Asian e-commerce battle in Singapore

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amazon-packageThe world’s two largest Internet retail companies, US-based Amazon and China’s Alibaba, will need to brace themselves for some serious rivalry in Singapore and the wider Southeast Asian region as they continue to deepen their regional e-commerce footprint.

Amazon plans to expand to Southeast Asia through a Singapore launch slated for the first quarter of next year, according to a report on online news site TechCrunch released on November 2.

The portal wrote that Amazon is covertly acquiring assets, including refrigerated trucks, and making new hires. It is expected that it will set up customer service, logistics and networking in the city state. The company is also likely to offer its prime delivery service alongside its AmazonFresh grocery service in Singapore, the report said.

Later on, Amazon’s Singapore base could function as a hub for further expansion across Southeast Asia. The move comes just months after Amazon pumped $3 billion into its India business and a week after it quietly introduced its prime service in China.

However, the Southeast Asian e-commerce market is heavily embattled. The biggest competition for Amazon in Singapore and the wider region is Lazada, launched by German web incubator Rocket Internet and financially fueled by China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba which bought a controlling stake in Lazada in April this year in a $1-billion deal.

Lazada is currently present in six countries in Southeast Asia – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – and has further expansion plans. In March 2016, Lazada claimed it recorded a total of $1.36 billion in annualised sales across its six markets in Asia, making it the largest e-commerce player in the region. Alibaba’s engagement could boost that figure further since Chinese sellers and customer from the Alibaba platform now get access to new sellers and buyers from Lazada.

In anther expansion step,  Lazada announced on November 2 that it will acquire Redmart, a Singaporean online grocery retailer backed by venture capital investors including Singapore-based Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. 

RedMart stressed that it will continue to be run independently of Lazada despite this transaction, but the acquisition will help it expand into new product categories faster. RedMart currently operates in Singapore only but has also long harboured expansion ambitions.

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The world's two largest Internet retail companies, US-based Amazon and China's Alibaba, will need to brace themselves for some serious rivalry in Singapore and the wider Southeast Asian region as they continue to deepen their regional e-commerce footprint. Amazon plans to expand to Southeast Asia through a Singapore launch slated for the first quarter of next year, according to a report on online news site TechCrunch released on November 2. The portal wrote that Amazon is covertly acquiring assets, including refrigerated trucks, and making new hires. It is expected that it will set up customer service, logistics and networking in...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

amazon-packageThe world’s two largest Internet retail companies, US-based Amazon and China’s Alibaba, will need to brace themselves for some serious rivalry in Singapore and the wider Southeast Asian region as they continue to deepen their regional e-commerce footprint.

Amazon plans to expand to Southeast Asia through a Singapore launch slated for the first quarter of next year, according to a report on online news site TechCrunch released on November 2.

The portal wrote that Amazon is covertly acquiring assets, including refrigerated trucks, and making new hires. It is expected that it will set up customer service, logistics and networking in the city state. The company is also likely to offer its prime delivery service alongside its AmazonFresh grocery service in Singapore, the report said.

Later on, Amazon’s Singapore base could function as a hub for further expansion across Southeast Asia. The move comes just months after Amazon pumped $3 billion into its India business and a week after it quietly introduced its prime service in China.

However, the Southeast Asian e-commerce market is heavily embattled. The biggest competition for Amazon in Singapore and the wider region is Lazada, launched by German web incubator Rocket Internet and financially fueled by China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba which bought a controlling stake in Lazada in April this year in a $1-billion deal.

Lazada is currently present in six countries in Southeast Asia – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – and has further expansion plans. In March 2016, Lazada claimed it recorded a total of $1.36 billion in annualised sales across its six markets in Asia, making it the largest e-commerce player in the region. Alibaba’s engagement could boost that figure further since Chinese sellers and customer from the Alibaba platform now get access to new sellers and buyers from Lazada.

In anther expansion step,  Lazada announced on November 2 that it will acquire Redmart, a Singaporean online grocery retailer backed by venture capital investors including Singapore-based Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. 

RedMart stressed that it will continue to be run independently of Lazada despite this transaction, but the acquisition will help it expand into new product categories faster. RedMart currently operates in Singapore only but has also long harboured expansion ambitions.

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