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ASEAN shopping presents Singles Day challenges, Lazada says

Alibaba e-commerce unit says local habits require different approach from China

HONG KONG -- Making China's Singles Day shopping blitz into a hit in Southeast Asia means overcoming big differences in culture and spending power, according to an executive of a local unit of Alibaba Group Holding -- the inventor of the festival.

"Total sales in Southeast Asia are now equivalent to those of China many years ago, but we can't make a complete analogy because the evolution in the two regions is not exactly the same. Our products in Southeast Asia must first meet the consumption habits of local people," said Howard Wang, chief technology officer of Lazada Group, the Southeast Asian e-commerce arm of Alibaba Group Holding.

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