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Business

Alibaba to market Chinese e-tailer around Southeast Asia

Majority owned Lazada to showcase Taobao ahead of Singles Day promotion

 

SINGAPORE -- Lazada, a Singapore-based e-commerce company majority owned by China's Alibaba Group Holding, has said it will start carrying products listed on Taobao, Alibaba's popular online marketplace in China, on its websites in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. 

Lazada will draw on the affordable Taobao Collection to market a range of home, beauty, fashion, and travel products, along with electronic goods and others. Customers can browse the website in their own language, overcoming Taobao's main barrier to entry so far in Southeast Asian markets. There will also be a popular cash-on-delivery payment option. 

Taobao Collection products were launched on Lazada in Singapore and Malaysia earlier this year, and this will be extended to the new regional markets over the coming weeks, starting with Indonesia today. The timing plays into Singles Day, a major online sale Alibaba runs on November 11.

Last year, Lazada kicked off Online Revolution, a month-long sale, on Singles Day, and will include the Taobao Collection in the same promotion this year. 

"There has been very strong interest in Taobao Collection products from Singapore consumers since [their introduction] six months ago," said Aimone Ripa di Meana, Lazada's chief marketplace officer. Lazada expects a similar response in the new markets. 

In 2016, Alibaba took a controlling stake in Lazada which operates in six countries in Southeast Asia. Taobao's low prices have been key to its success in China, but the language barrier has limited its reach to a small number of Southeast Asian consumers. There have also been complaints about inferior goods compared to those depicted online. Alibaba and Lazada hope to tackle these problems through better curation.  

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