Alibaba brings its Southeast Asian platform Lazada to Europe

Lazada, the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, has European plans. His owner, Ali Babawants to introduce the online marketplace to Europe, now that the Chinese have further tightened their grip on Liège airport.

Racing with Shopee

The Alibaba Group plans to introduce its Southeast Asian subsidiary, Lazada, to Europe. The online marketplace is the largest e-commerce player in Southeast Asia and had more than 159 million active customers in 2021. The company, founded a decade ago by rocket internethas set a target of 300 million by 2030. The Berlin accelerator was also behind Zalando and HelloFresh, but in 2016 Alibaba bought the majority stake in Lazada.

Europe suddenly becomes interesting for Lazada, because its big rival Shopee seems to be choking on the mainland. Last year, the lookalikeAliExpress, Shopee, was launched in Poland, Spain and France, but already in March this year the platform withdrew from the French market due to weak growth prospects. Alibaba thinks it can be more successful because it has a strong logistics position in Liege. In November last year, Alibaba opened a new central hub at the airport for its logistics arm cainiaowhich it claims is the largest of its kind in Europe.

Need from abroad

Lazada wants to differentiate itself in Europe from its sister formula AliExpress by acting more like a local marketplace with European merchants and business partners, instead of AliExpress’s predominantly Chinese offering. James Dong, CEO of Lazada Thailand, will lead the initiative, Reuters reports.

It’s important for Alibaba to target overseas expansion as China’s domestic growth slows. The tech giant has to deal with powerful newcomers such as Pinduo-duo and Douyin, the sister of TikTok, but also to the tightening of regulations that limit the power of incumbent mega-retailers. Competition is also intensifying in the Southeast Asian market.

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Lazada, the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, has European plans. Its owner, Alibaba, wants to introduce the online marketplace to Europe.

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