Lazada wants to connect Korea, Southeast Asia

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Lazada wants to connect Korea, Southeast Asia


Will Ross, chief executive of Lazada Crossborder, talks to the press on Tuesday in Seoul. [LAZADA GROUP]

Lazada Group, the largest e-commerce operator in Southeast Asia, is seeking partnerships in Korea as demand for Korean-made goods continues to grow in the region.

Will Ross, chief executive of Lazada Crossborder, a subsidiary of Lazada that connects international vendors with Southeast Asian markets, stressed that partnerships with more Korean brands could result in a win-win for both the platform and Korean companies as there is heavy demand for Korean goods, including cosmetics, clothing and music, in Southeast Asia.

“In the same way there is credibility for watches from Switzerland, [there is credibility for] cosmetics and fashion from Korea,” Ross said during a press conference on Tuesday in Seoul. “We are trying to provide Korean sellers with a platform to reach all those consumers in Southeast Asia.”

Lazada Group, which is majority-owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, operates online shopping sites in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The company already has some strategic partnerships with Korean entertainment agencies. The popularity of Korean television shows and music in Southeast Asia has helped drive demand on its shopping sites for Korean goods like cosmetics and clothing.

Most recently, Lazada recently signed a partnership with Humap Contents, an entertainment agency, to promote Korean celebrities on its platforms. “We’ve seen rapid growth of the Korean Wave in Southeast Asian countries where Lazada operates its online shopping platforms, specifically in the areas of TV dramas, food and K-pop,” said Lee Hyun-chul, chief executive of Humap Contents. “I expect our partnership with Lazada will provide a powerful media channel for us to reach consumers who are craving for Korean content in these markets.”

“Southeast Asia’s internet economy is fast growing with 260 million existing users and 3.8 million new users coming online every month,” Ross said. “It is a market with vast potential, given its growing middle class and rising per-capita gross domestic product.”

Launched in 2012, Lazada has agreements with 135,000 small vendors and 3,000 big-name brands. Popular Korean ones include Samsung Electronics, Line Friends, Laneige and TonyMoly.

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