Alibaba affiliate draws Malaysia, S'pore investors

BEIJING •Alibaba Group Holding's delivery affiliate attracted investments from Singapore and Malaysia in its first round of external fund-raising since its creation in 2013.

Zhejiang Cainiao Supply Chain Management gained funding from Temasek Holdings, GIC and Khazanah Nasional to bankroll its expansion, according to a statement yesterday. The firm did not specify the amount raised or its valuation.

Cainiao, which has grown as Alibaba developed a dominant position in Chinese e-commerce, handles more than 70 per cent of the nation's express packages, with its network set to span 2,800 county districts inside the country and 224 countries and regions globally by this month.

The company is angling for a public offering to bankroll its expansion, as its chief executive officer, Ms Tong Wenhong, envisions the ability to support daily package deliveries of 200 million.

"If e-commerce was the focus of China's economy in the past 10 years, logistics will be the focus for the next 10," said Ms Tong in the statement.

MOVING FORWARD

If e-commerce was the focus of China's economy in the past 10 years, logistics will be the focus for the next 10.

MS TONG WENHONG, CEO of Zhejiang Cainiao Supply Chain Management, who envisions the company will have the ability to support daily package deliveries of 200 million.

The delivery network is valued at about 50 billion yuan (S$10.6 billion) in this funding round, media outlet Caixin reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Alibaba declined to comment in an e-mailed statement.

Cainiao has previously said its network expansion could reach the United States, Russia, Brazil and Spain to complement existing bases in seven countries, including Amazon.com's home turf.

Alibaba created Cainiao with department store chain Intime Retail Group and industrial conglomerate Fosun International. Alibaba owned 48 per cent of Cainiao at the time.

Cainiao had 700 employees as of June last year. The company runs its own warehouses while also operating as a network overseer, using software to marshal trucking, shipping and delivery firms to get packages from seller to buyer.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2016, with the headline 'Alibaba affiliate draws Malaysia, S'pore investors'. Print Edition | Subscribe