Editor’s note: This is the first part of a post on Southeast Asian e-commerce by Sheji Ho, for the second part click here. Sheji Ho is the Group Chief Marketing Officer at aCommerce, an end-to-end e-commerce enabler in Southeast Asia. Currently based in Bangkok but having previously worked in China, Sheji writes about e-commerce, tech, the internet, and how Southeast Asia is the next China.

 Alibaba’s entry into Southeast Asia served as social proof for many entrepreneurs and businesses that they were onto something big, which led to a year of exuberance for e-commerce in the region.

“We’re just at the beginning, [the Alibaba-Lazada deal] will kickstart the whole cycle. It will attract more global investments into the region, and attract more entrepreneurs who now see this region as a great place to start a business,” Stefan Jung, founding partner at Indonesia-based Venturra Capital said in an interview with Tech in Asia.

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