Amazon continues to expand internationally, with Tech Crunch reporting the company is getting set to launch its services in Singapore — officially marking the online retail giant’s entry into Southeast Asia.
According to sources, the arrival could happen as soon as this week, making Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Now fast delivery and Amazon’s regular eCommerce services available to Singapore’s population of more than five million people.
Pricing is unclear at this point, and Amazon did not respond to a request for comment, but the company has already begun marketing its services through online influencers. A number of high-profile Instagram users in Singapore recently posting sponsored teasers of Amazon’s Prime Now. While not specifically labeled Amazon, the distinctive tick on the packaging was a clear giveaway.
Amazon has spent 2017 expanding into new territories. It launched in the Middle East via the acquisition of Souq.com, initiated a move into Australia and is in the process of buying Whole Foods in the U.S.
Now the eCommerce giant is jumping into Southeast Asia, a region that is home to 600 million consumers and in which Chinese rivals Alibaba and Tencent are already actively investing. Alibaba entered the region last year when it purchased a majority stake in Lazada, and has since increased its stake to 83 percent through another investment. There are rumors that Indonesia’s Tokopedia is in discussions with Tencent ally JD.com and Alibaba over an investment that could reach $500 million. Sources also say Indonesia is on Amazon's radar for the future.
While digital purchasing accounts for less than five percent of all commerce today in Southeast Asia, the region is expected to grow significantly over the next decade from $5.5 billion in 2015 to $87.8 billion by 2025. The boost is fueled by an emerging middle class and increased internet access — currently, 3.8 million new users are coming online per month in the region.
Amazon chose Singapore for its initial entry point to Southeast Asia primarily because of Westernized consumer consumption and its position as a regional hub.