Alibaba — Asia’s ranking eCommerce powerhouse — has announced its intention to buy a controlling stake in Lazada Group, a Southeast Asia-focused eCommerce startup.
The shares in Lazada will run Alibaba about $500 million, with an additional $500 million marked for buying out the stakes of current Lazada shareholders. Those stakeholders include Rocket Internet AG and British supermarket operator Tesco.
The move comes as Alibaba has pushed in for a greater international footprint, seeking to balance out losses from a domestic market that is slowing down after more than 10 years of meteoric growth. In 2015, Alibaba was part of the group of investors that dropped $500 million on Snapdeal, an Indian eCommerce startup.
Lazada operates mainly in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and has access to a consumer base of about 600 million, according to Wall Street Journal reports.