Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is quietly plotting its expansion in Thailand. The company is in negotiation with Thailand’s largest warehouse developer, WHA Corporation, regarding an investment deal for industrial estate land in Chachoengsao, Thai news outlet Bangkok Post wrote in a report that has since been taken down. The investment would be the Alibaba’s second major deal in Thailand in the last two years.
“The talks are about new investment in WHA’s industrial estate land and we expect our logistics business will see more benefits from the deal,” said Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, chairman and chief executive of WHA, as quoted in the article. The company did not further disclose any details about the deal.
The investment will likely help boost Alibaba’s e-commerce reach in Thailand as well as support its other businesses including mobile payment platform Alipay, digital marketing platform Alimama, cloud computing arm Alibaba Cloud, and logistics company China Smart Logistics Network.
An Alibaba spokesman TechNode spoke with denied on Tuesday the news of a second investment, and did not respond to questions about whether the company was currently in talks with WHA.
The Bangkok Post confirmed to TechNode late Tuesday that Jarukornsakul had mentioned a second deal when interviewed by its reporter following a seminar.
Last year, Alibaba agreed to invest 11 billion Thai baht (around $346.2 million) in the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme, which includes the construction of a smart digital hub providing technologies to facilitate trade between Thailand and its neighboring countries.
Alibaba’s investment deals in the country have been propelled by the EEC scheme, which aims to draw new investments, including those from Chinese tech giants like Alibaba and Huawei, to revive the region’s slowing economy.
Alibaba has made strides in expanding its e-commerce and logistics business in Thailand, as well as its mobile payment platform Alipay.
Earlier this month, Alipay and the tourism authority of Thailand agreed to roll out two services, credit scoring program Zhima Credit and virtual credit card Huabei, in the country, according to state media outlet Xinhua. On Monday, the two deepened their partnership by signing a letter of intent (LOI) to bring new services that offer privileges and special discounts for Chinese tourists in Thailand. The company said its new payment services will likely be ready to launch in September.
Updated on May 29 to include responses from Alibaba and the Bangkok Post, and on May 31 to add that the Bangkok Post removed its story.