Jack Ma: Alibaba to invest more in the ASEAN region

Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company, will invest more and expand its business further into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

Jack Ma, the founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, spoke on Sunday at the opening ceremony of the 13th China-ASEAN Expo, saying that he saw ASEAN as the most promising and most dynamic region in the world economy.

The China-ASEAN Expo is co-sponsored by the Chinese government and 10 ASEAN member states, including Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The expo is being held less than a week after the landmark China-ASEAN Summit, which took place on September 7 in Vientiene, Laos.

Jack Ma said that the China-ASEAN relationship is one of world’s most important economic partnerships and that “Alibaba will expand investment and business development in the ASEAN region”.

“The world today has two main opportunities – technological revolution and further globalisation, both of which will help developing countries grow in leaps and bounds. I believe e-commerce, fuelled by the ASEAN economy, will play an important role,” said Ma.

About one million registered ASEAN suppliers are trading with China on an Alibaba platform, according to Yu Yong, vice president of Alibaba Group.

“ASEAN is in the centre of Western and Eastern culture. Neither the Western world nor the Eastern world will win in the future. It’s the integration of West with East,” said Ma.

He called for a just, free, and transparent trade system so that “at least one third of the world’s small and medium enterprises and youth have strong opportunities for tomorrow”.

Southeast Asia has become a hot destination among Chinese companies seeking to go overseas.

Indonesia is especially worth mentioning. Its population was over 250 million in 2015, according to the World Bank. Indonesian smartphone shipments reached 6.5 million in Q1 2016, according to market research organisation IDC.

Five out of the top 20 most populous games in Indonesia are developed by Chinese
companies, such as Clash of Kings and Magic Rush: Heroes by Elex Technology, and Crisis Action by CMGE, according to a report in May by Chinese tech behemoth Tencent.

On top of that, the Indonesian news aggregator sector is dominated by ambitious and bold Chinese companies. As of August, BaBe, launched in 2013, is the largest news aggregator in Indonesia by download, according to Chinese mobile industry blog Bai Jing.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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