Alibaba injects $845m into SE Asia unit Lazada

SINGAPORE: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd injected US$845 million into Lazada, its online retail business in Southeast Asia that is facing intensifying competition from rivals such as Sea Ltd and Inc.

The capital infusion, disclosed in a regulatory filing in Singapore on Wednesday, brings the total that Alibaba has invested in the arm to several billion dollars since it gained control over the business in 2016. Alibaba and Lazada representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

Lazada is part of the international online shopping unit that Alibaba is planning to potentially take public in the United States. The Chinese tech behemoth is splitting into six parts to spur growth of its various businesses, which include e-commerce, logistics and the cloud.

Alibaba has in the past explored splitting off Lazada. The unit, bought in stages from Rocket Internet SE, is considered one of the Chinese firm’s most high-profile international brands. It competes with Amazon and Sea’s Shopee in Southeast Asian markets such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

In 2022, Alibaba discussed raising at least $1 billion for Lazada before calling off negotiations with potential investors when talks bogged down over its valuation. It had aimed to secure the funding as a precursor to a spinoff. Alibaba has since mothballed the fundraising and injected additional funds into the company instead.