And So It Begins, Lazada To Bring Alipay First To Indonesia

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Newly appointed Lazada Indonesia co-CEO Florian Holm announced that Lazada will introduce Alipay to Indonesia in an interview with Tech in Asia.

How Lazada performs in Indonesia concerns the entire group. The archipelago is Lazada’s most important and most challenging market. Following Lazada’s launch in 2012, it faced strong local competitors such as Tokopedia.

Despite the general reputation and numbers suggesting that Lazada is bleeding money, curbing expenses to acquire more customers is not high up in the agenda this year.

Lazada will continue to invest in tech, and its alliance with Alibaba will benefit this goal greatly.

HelloPay is going to integrate with Alipay. It has massively better systems. It’s extremely important to have good fraud detection. – Florian Holm, Lazada Indonesia co-CEO.

Indonesians still prefer to pay cash when their products arrive, but perhaps Alipay will widen the scope of online payments amongst users.

There are no concrete launch dates as of now. Aside from the technical integration, there are also regulatory hurdles to sort out.

Lazada will also focus on operating on a leaner structure within a large ecosystem. This will be done through automation and outsourcing. Some services the company used to do themselves will by handed over to third party providers.

Currently, Indonesia has approximately 1,000 people employed under Lazada. With automation, Holm wants to achieve more transactions with the same amount of people.

China is the role model. It’s huge ecosystem of third party providers operating around a lean infrastructure there.

Currently, Tokopedia is Lazada’s biggest threat, but Amazon’s incoming shadow also looms over them.

Having Alibaba as a partner, combined with a roll-out of Alipay may be able to grant Lazada a secure spot in the cut throat landscape of Indonesia ecommerce, where startups pit against each other to claim the dominant platform. As Holm puts it, “Amazon doesn’t enter to come second.”

A version of this appeared in Tech In Asia on August 4. Read the full version here.

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