Alibaba eyes South-east Asia e-commerce with $312.5m SingPost stake

SINGAPORE - Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group is buying a 10.35 per cent stake in Singapore Post as it seeks to tap into e-commerce opportunities in South-east Asia.

The $312.5 million investment comes alongside a memorandum of understanding between the two partners that will allow them to discuss and negotiate a joint venture related to the business of international e-commerce logistics, SingPost said in a statement on Wednesday.

Through the partnership, Alibaba's customers and merchants will gain greater access to SingPost's international logistics capabilities, infrastructure and delivery networks and end-to-end solutions, SingPost said.

SingPost offers fully e-commerce logistics services such as freight transportation, warehouse fulfilment, delivery and returns as well as web services.

SingPost's e-commerce and related businesses currently account for about 26 per cent of its total revenue.

"This strategic investment by Alibaba is a significant milestone in our transformation journey into the region and is an affirmation of our long-standing strategy in e-commerce logistics as part of SingPost's growth trajectory," said SingPost chairman Lim Ho Kee.

"SingPost will benefit from Alibaba's expertise in e-commerce, technology and business volumes. We see considerable strategic advantages, such as the creation of new relationships and opportunities for strategic cooperation with the Alibaba Group, all of which are expected to increase the company's growth and development pace as it pursues regional opportunities."

Alibaba was the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume in 2013.

Alibaba chief operating officer Daniel Zhang said: "Through this collaboration, we hope to create concrete benefits for our overseas buyers and sellers by enhancing the user experience and providing greater access to a suite of international e-commerce logistics solutions and products."