Alibaba, scrutinise 11st Malaysia opportunities

Alibaba and are considering investing in Korean online marketplace subsidiary 11st Malaysia.

The Chinese e-commerce giants are weighing their options to see whether the move could help them expand further in Asia, reports the Korea Economic Daily. There has been no comment from SK Planet, the majority shareholder of Celcom Planet, which runs 11st in Malaysia.

Formed in 2014 as a JV between SK Planet and Malaysian telecom company Celcom Axiata, Celcom Planet has been seeking strategic partners following years of mounting losses. Last year’s net loss for 11st reached 41.7 billion won (US$36.8 million). SK Planet injected 40 billion won this year, but the situation has not improved.

After turning red, the parent company has just sold its JV in Indonesia to local retail giant Salim Group. Retail giant Lotte sought to acquire 11st’s Korean headquarters, but sources say SK Telecom, the parent company of SK Planet, refused to accept the deal terms.

Meanwhile, Alibaba acquired an 83 per cent stake in Southeast Asian online shopping company Lazada in May, while invested 5 billion won in June to establish an online shopping platform in Thailand with local retailer Central.

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