SingPost lands US$206m investment from China's Alibaba as firm seeks expand global logistics reach
Alibaba Group has invested a further US$206 million to increase its stake in Singapore Post as well as the postal service’s e-commerce subsidiary, the Chinese e-commerce giant said this week.
Alibaba spent US$68 million on SingPost’s e-commerce logistics subsidiary, Quantium Solutions International, to raise its stake to 34 per cent. QSI is set to become a joint venture between SingPost and Alibaba.
“This additional investment into SingPost and establishment of a joint venture signify our commitment in expanding our global logistics footprint,” said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.
The latest deal will “help Chinese businesses sell, and global brands deliver more easily around the world,” he added.
Alibaba, which operates popular e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall, spent US$138 million to up its stake in SingPost from 10.23 per cent to 14.51 per cent.
The group has been on a shopping spree lately, snapping up companies or making multi-million-dollar investments in finance, logistics and entertainment to make no secret of its ambitions to expand globally.
As it continues to diversify its portfolio, part of its shopping list this year saw it invest US$590 million in Chinese smartphone maker Meizu in February, US$200 in messaging app Snapchat, which is blocked in China, in March, and millions more in SoftBank's robotics business last month.
Co-founder Jack Ma, one of China’s richest men, said in November that Alibaba intends to create an international version of Taobao, its consumer to consumer platform, to cater to overseas shoppers, although no launch date has been announced.
Last September, it launched a regional version of Taobao in Southeast Asia. Customers can purchase items on the site and have them shipped to Singapore and Malaysia, among other countries in the region.
On Wednesday, Alibaba announced that it had invested in Chinese flash sales platform Mei.com, which will be integrated with Tmall, its business to consumer platform, to provide more premium luxury goods to consumers.
SingPost has offset declining postal revenue recently by focusing on e-commerce, retail and logistics.