Amazon coming to South-east Asia via Singapore, says report

Amazon is reportedly planning to expand to South-east Asia.
Amazon is reportedly planning to expand to South-east Asia.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Amazon has plans to expand to South-east Asia, and there are signs the online retail giant is entering the region through Singapore, Techcrunch reported on Wednesday (Nov 2).

Amazon is acquiring assets, and hiring new employees in Singapore, the tech news website said, citing two sources close to the company.

There has been no official announcement by Amazon.

The report said that Amazon may debut its Prime delivery service and its AmazonFresh grocery service, perhaps as soon as early 2017.

Amazon's possible South-east Asian foray comes soon after aggressive moves to enter India and China. In China, it started offering its Prime free-shipping service last month.

Prime gives members in the US perks like free delivery and access to a growing library of videos and music.

The US company has also pumped $3 billion more into its Indian e-commerce operation.

Amazon's entry to the region, if it materialises, may heat up competition in the online retail market.

On Wednesday, Singapore-based e-commerce company Lazada announced that it will acquire Redmart, an online grocery retailer.

Sometimes called South-east Asia's Amazon, Lazada was started by Rocket Internet. Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba bought a controlling stake in Lazada in April this year in a US$1 billion deal.