Thailand’s largest private company, Charoen Pokphand Group, says it will buy Hong Kong-based e-commerce platform Chilindo for US$18 million, expanding its digital business as consumer behaviour changes.
CP Group’s existing assets include the Thai and Cambodian operations of convenience-store chain 7-Eleven, wholesaler Siam Makro and telco True.
The acquisition by the company’s digital arm, Ascend Commerce, will complement its online shopping WeMall platform and develop Thailand’s digital economy as the e-commerce market grows amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, said CEO Suphachai Chearavanont in a statement.
WeMall competes with Alibaba’s Lazada, Sea’s Shopee and JD Central, a joint venture between top retailers, Central Group and JD.
Thailand has a burgeoning online shopping industry with consumers buying directly from merchants through social-media platforms like Instagram, as well as local and international marketplaces.
“Chilindo’s plan to enter the international e-commerce market will increase the ability of Thai e-commerce brands to compete on an international level,” Suphachai added as telecommunication operators roll out 5G technology.
CP Group owns Thailand’s second-largest telco operator, True Corporation Pcl, which won 5G licenses in February.
- Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng, editing by Robert Birsel of Reuters, with additional reporting by Inside Retail Asia.