Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will invest another US $2 billion in Lazada Group SA and install one of its most senior executives to run the business as it doubles its bet on Southeast Asia.
Lucy Peng, who is already Chairman of Lazada, will take over as Chief Executive Officer, according to a statement. Current CEO Max Bittner will step down and remain as a Senior Adviser.
“The investment underscores Alibaba’s confidence in the future success of Lazada’s business and the growth prospect of the Southeast Asian market, a region that is a key part of Alibaba’s global growth strategy,” Alibaba said in a statement.
Peng, who is also executive chair at Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, said in the statement, “We feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia. We are excited about the incredible opportunities for super-charged growth.”
Peng further added, “With a young population, high mobile penetration and just three percent of the region’s retail sales currently conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia.”