South Asia’s Biggest e-Commerce Firm – Daraz Group, Purchased By Chinese Giant Alibaba

Pakistan’s top and South Asia’s largest e-commerce platform Daraz Group has been taken over by China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. The Chinese company acquired all of the share capital of the Pakistani company, said a statement from the company on Tuesday.

Daraz is the owner and operator of the popular Taobao and Tmall platforms and following the acquisition of the company, it will now become a wholly owned subsidiary of Alibaba, said a press statement from the Pakistani company. the value of the takeover was not disclosed in the statement.

“We are excited for Daraz to become a part of the Alibaba ecosystem,” said Alibaba’s Chief Executive Officer Zhang Yong. He added that “together with Daraz, we can now empower entrepreneurs to better serve consumers in the region through our technology and expertise.”

Operational in the countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal, the Daraz Group was founded in 2012 in Pakistan.

The Daraz Group anticipates that it will have a chance to expand its business with the money and expertise of Alibaba into five markets in South East Asia that together have a total population of over 460 million and about 60 per cent of that population is under the age of 35 years.

The e-commerce platforms of Daraz displays products from over 30,000 sellers selling products from 500 brands. The total number of products available for its customer base of 5 million is more than 2 million. The platforms offer a range of payment options including the popular pay on delivery system.

The statement from the Pakistani company said that after the completion of the deal, the company would still continue to function under its brand name.

“Together with Alibaba, we are ready to empower entrepreneurs in the region to offer our customers the best selection of products with a high-level of convenience,” said Daraz Co-Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Doerr.

This is the second acquisition by Alibaba in just under two months. With an eye to modernize and further develop its mobile payments and digital financial services that it offers in Pakistan, the Chinese company had taken a 45 per cent stake in a subsidiary of Norwegian telecom giant Telenor Group – Telenor Microfinance Bank.

The Pakistani market comprising of a market base of 207 million has been eyed by Alibaba and last year, the Chinese giant had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Pakistani Ministry of Commerce which allowed it to start its operations in Pakistan.

(Adapted from Xinhuanet.com)

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