Alibaba Group announced today it has acquired 10.35% stake in Singapore Post Limited (SingPost) for S$312.5 million（US$249mn）, through Alibaba Investment Limited. The two companies will further negotiate a joint venture for e-commerce logistics.
The deal must help Alibaba to expand its marketplace business to Southeast Asia. The Chinese e-commerce giant has been actively expanding to overseas markets recently. Aliexpress, formerly a business-to-business site, had transformed into a Taobao-like to-customer marketplace last year. And it has gained traction in several countries, such as Russia — Alibaba reached deal with Russian payments service provider Qiwi Wallet to enable local users to pay for goods sold from Chinese retailers.
Tmall International was launched earlier this year for retailers outside of mainland China to sell goods directly to Chinese users. Alipay, the online payments solution by Alibaba, has been available on foreign e-commerce sites, such as Korean LOTTE, Japanese Rakuten, Yahoo! Shopping Japan, among others.
Apart from delivery, SingPost is able to offer other services that are musch needed by online retailers on Alibaba’s marketplaces, from freight transportation, warehouse fulfilment, returns to web solutions.
Alibaba has invested a lot in logistics in China market alone. The company has taken a stake in the logistics arm of Haier, a leading home appliance company in China. It also has 48% stake in Cainiao, a massive logistics project initiated last year.