Alibaba And Amazon Are In An E-Commerce Cold War For Asia, And Stakes Are High – Forbes

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Arguably, the most important e-commerce battle in the world right now is not between Amazon and Walmart or Amazon and the new wave of omnichannel players like Warby Parker and Dollar Shave Club. Rather, it’s the Cold War between Alibaba and Amazon. It’s a battle that will likely span decades, and in the next few years, be most pronounced in Southeast Asia.

The players

In India, we all know the story too well. Flipkart and Snapdeal are faced with the rich American competitor, which is set to pump $3 billion into the country. In Indonesia, rumor is that Amazon will likewise pump $600 million into the country. In a sandwich motion, Amazon is attempting to conquer India in the west and Indonesia in the East. And with a potential new center point in Singapore, Amazon is picking its battles in the region carefully.

In the meantime, Alibaba has wasted no time, shelling out $1 billion to acquire the heavy spending e-commerce player, Rocket Internet’s Lazada. And via its financial arm, Ant Financial (with over $4.5 billion in the bank), Alibaba extends its interests into investments in finance in the Southeast Asian region.

With the large Chinese and American juggernauts entering Southeast Asia from all sides, is this a good thing?

Southeast Asia’s incumbents

No doubt, from the consumer perspective, the companies will burn as much as they can for marketshare. It’s good for consumers. That’s obvious. But what will it do for their competitors? The retailers and existing e-commerce sites in Southeast Asia?

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