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Alibaba pledges US$15b to expand logistics network
Alibaba pledges US$15b to expand logistics network


E-COMMERCE firm Alibaba Group announced it will invest 100 billion yuan (US$15.12 billion) over five years to build a global logistics network and also take control of a US$20 billion unit, underpinning an aggressive overseas expansion strategy.

Alibaba is investing 5.3 billion yuan in Cainiao Smart Logistics Network to boost its stake to 51 percent from 47 percent. The investment would value Cainiao, a joint venture of top Chinese logistics firms, at around US$20 billion.

“Our commitment to Cainiao and additional investment in logistics demonstrate Alibaba’s commitment to building the most-efficient logistic network in China and around the world,” Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement yesterday.

The announcement comes as Alibaba is rapidly expanding its e-commerce and logistics network abroad, including newly announced direct sales channels in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, facilitated by a US$2 billion investment in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group.

Alibaba’s latest investment in Cainiao also signals its intention to boost control over the domestic warehousing and delivery market, which has become increasingly competitive as firms seek to capitalize on logistics data assets.

In June, top logistics firm SF Holding Co. cut ties with the Cainiao coalition, which provides logistics support directly to Alibaba’s top e-commerce platform Taobao, claiming Alibaba had requested data unrelated to the existing partnership agreement. Alibaba denied the claims.

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