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Alibaba expands cross-border e-commerce in Southeast Asia

Jack Ma promises prompt deliveries of jasmine rice and durian from new Thai hub

Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma, second from right, celebrates his investment commitments with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak in Bangkok on April 19. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

BANGKOK -- Alibaba Group Holding will launch a slew of projects in collaboration with Thailand's government to support cross-border online trade by small enterprises and farmers, as China's largest e-retailer makes further inroads in Southeast Asia.

Jack Ma, Alibaba's co-founder and executive chairman, visited Bangkok on Thursday to announce the launch of a distribution hub in Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor, a heavily promoted special economic zone east of Bangkok. The facility, dubbed a Smart Digital Hub, will feature a fully-automated warehouse for products to be shipped to China and sold on Alibaba's websites.

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