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Episode 143: Alibaba vs Amazon in Southeast Asia with Jon Russell

Jon Russell from TechCrunch who broke the two big stories on Lazada’s acquisition of Redmart and Amazon’s foray into Southeast Asia starting with Singapore next year, joined us on a conversation to discuss the backstory behind the event. We discussed the implications of the acquisition and how it is setting up the narrative of Alibaba vs Amazon across Southeast Asia. We examined how the ecommerce wars between two giants will impact the logistics and payments industry. 

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Jon Russell (@jonrussell, LinkedIn, Newsletter, Personal Site), Reporter at TechCrunch
  • Interesting news that you have recently covered:
    • Didi did not invest in Grab’s latest round [1:24]
      • Why did they not participate in the round if they want to expand overseas? Is it due to Uber now an owner of Didi? [1:24]
      • How is Didi going to expand if they can’t win Southeast Asia or bother about India? [3:12]
      • Given Uber, Didi, Grab and Ola are intrinsically linked to each other and yet at the same time, being rivals and allies at the same time, how will this dynamic play out?  [4:37]
      • Southeast Asia is an open market unlike China, can Grab survive Uber’s onslaught [7:52]
    • Paktor’s US$32.5m to push into “social entertainment” [8:56]
      • Is the company pivoting from the dating industry? [8:56]
  • Lazada’s acquisition of Redmart (via Alibaba) and Amazon’s entry into Singapore [11:08]
    • You broke the story about the potential acquisition last Friday. How did you cover the story? [11:52] 
    • Finally the deal was confirmed at undisclosed yesterday, what’s the details of the deal? (According to Crunchbase, Redmart raised a total of US$55M from SoftBank, Garena, Far East, NSI, Golden Gate Ventures and Eduardo Saverin), what’s the range of the exit? Who are the winners and losers from the deal? [13:40] 
    • On the same day, you broke that Amazon is coming to Singapore in Q1 2017, could the news be known to most VCs, which led to Redmart having problems raising the money from VCs? Is the same reason why Amazon has “low-balled” Redmart in the deal? [15:10]
    • Walmart as a potential acquirer given the founders of Jet.com & Diapers.com are in close contact with Redmart founders, and followed by a conversation of other potential acquirers. [16:42]
  • Ecommerce wars heating up in Southeast Asia [18:08]
    • Alibaba’s acquisition of Lazada and Redmart clearly set up a battleground in Southeast Asia with Amazon, what are the areas do you think that will be interesting to the ecommerce space for the next year? [18:08]
    • Is HappyFresh going to be acquired by Alibaba given that they need to defend against Amazon [20:09]
    • Indonesia is the prized jewel for Amazon and Alibaba but like Singapore, there are local players such as NTUC and Matahari Mall, how do they battle out in these different countries? [22:01]
    • Amazon’s great track record in India and Japan, and can they replicate that in Singapore and to extent, Southeast Asia [23:30]
    • The Ecommerce space is linked closely to the logistics space – what does that mean for companies like Honestbee, Ninjavan, Gojek and many others? [25:01]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Altizen and sign up for their mailing list. Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack. 

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By | 2016-11-08T10:15:24+00:00 November 8th, 2016|Analyse Asia Podcast, Podcast Shows|

About the Author:

A pragmatic idealist in technology, media & entrepreneurship.