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Business

Amazon and Alibaba square off in Southeast Asia

The battle for e-commerce dominance is just getting started

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An employee works at Amazon's Prime Now fulfillment center in Singapore on July 27.   © Reuters

BANGKOK Shoppers in Southeast Asia have long been wondering when Amazon.com will start offering its e-commerce services in their region.

Local and regional e-tailers have been wondering the same thing. Taking the U.S. giant's eventual arrival as a given, they have been racing to fortify their own positions, none more so than Alibaba Group Holding. The Chinese internet behemoth has been stepping up its offensive since 2016, when it became clear that Amazon was on its way.

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