Singapore is turning out to be one of the hottest business hubs of Southeast Asia, scratch that, the island nation is making its presence all across the world, courtesy its budding startup ecosystem. Naturally, the inclination of global corporations in bringing their services and products to the country is justified.
This time, it’s the Chinese behemoth, Alibaba, which is gearing up to introduce its internet marketplace Taobao in Singapore. According to a report by Bloomberg, the internet giant is collaborating with e-commerce platform Lazada for the same. This is first such partnership between both the entities since the former took over the Southeast Asian company a year ago.
Taobao is a website similar to e-Bay where merchants and vendors sell items ranging from gadgets to apparels. Alexis Lanternier, chief executive officer of Lazada Singapore, stated Lazada is unveiling a dedicated website that takes you directly to the Alibaba’s largest shopping platform. Over 40,000 products will be added to the platform that are currently unavailable to the existing lineup of about 5 million products.
This move pushes further the ambitions of Alibaba to expand beyond the home market. It, along with Lazada, aims to push deeper into the market and scale up the operations to maintain a strong foothold as it is expected that Amazon might enter the Southeast Asian market soon.
The website will address the process that has been taking place in the recent years. Local outlets and bargain hunters buy directly from Taobao. The products, most of the times, go for a fraction of retail prices in Singapore, which is touted as world’s most expensive city. But many people tend to buy through agents who charge a fee to help them with the English translations, payments, and deliveries. This, however, makes the returns problematic, Lanternier said and there’s another possibility of scams.
Since, Taobao is an open marketplace, it’s hard to keep a check on such fake cases but Lazada will resort to quick action whenever notified by the user of any such situation. Lanternier talking about the new initiative said,
We want to solve those difficulties, enabling an effortless way for them to shop. Now it’s all translated into English and you don’t have to worry about shipping options, payment method, returning. You are going to be able to track your order end-to-end.