Alibaba's Overseas Growth Push Gets Critical To Beat Domestic Slowdown

  • Alibaba Group Holding Limited's BABA hunt for overseas growth is critical to offset sluggish demand at home by expanding in Europe through its Southeast Asian offshoot, Lazada, Reuters reports.
  • Lazada plans to target local European vendors, while Alibaba's existing global platform, AliExpress, will continue to focus mainly on cross-border sales from China.
  • However, the Chinese e-commerce giant may struggle to justify the investment with a less than 5% European market share and hard-core rivals like Amazon.com Inc AMZN.
  • Despite taking control of Singapore-based Lazada in 2016, alongside global tie-ups, domestic commerce revenue still made up 67% of its total sales in the six months ended in September, versus 7% from abroad, according to Reuters.
  • In 2021, AliExpress had just a 4% market share in Western Europe, far behind Amazon's 20%. In Eastern Europe, its 5% share also trails Russia's Wildberries and Poland's Allegro.
  • Revenue growth at Lazada in Southeast Asia slowed from a triple-digit pace a year earlier to 52% in the December quarter, as rivals like the Sea Limited SE-owned Shopee win market share. 
  • Analysts see Alibaba reporting revenue of just 199 billion yuan ($29.8 billion) in the quarter to March, a record low 6% increase from a year earlier. 
  • The Covid-19 lockdowns in Shanghai and other major cities have hit consumer spending. The total transactions on Alibaba's Tmall retail site in April fell 13% year-on-year.
  • Price Action: BABA shares traded lower by 0.10% at $82.39 on Wednesday.
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