Future bright for SE Asian e-commerce

Updated: 2016-09-13 07:31

By Zhou Mo(China Daily)

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Future bright for SE Asian e-commerce

A Vietnamese artist plays folk music at the China-ASEAN Exposition held in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese companies are actively tapping into ASEAN markets to embrace opportunities brought by the rapid growth of e-commerce business in the region.

AliCloud, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has built data centers in Singapore to offer computing services to small and medium-sized enterprises in the region. It is also going to cooperate with Thailand in this respect to help the country's SMEs grow.

"Right now, China is actively promoting the mobile internet, the internet of things and big data. We hope our technology not only benefits Chinese enterprises, but can also be exported to ASEAN countries," said Hu Xiaoming, president of AliCloud.

"We will continue to expand our investment in members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and offer our capabilities in finance, cloud computing, big data and internet security through the platform of the China-ASEAN Information Harbor, to promote the development of SMEs in the region."

CAIH, construction of which was officially approved in April by the State Council, China's cabinet, is an initiative aimed at strengthening internet connectivity and information sharing between China and ASEAN to promote bilateral trade and investment.

According to a report released by the China Academy of Telecommunication Research, e-commerce business in ASEAN countries has been growing rapidly in recent years.

Total online business in the region reached $5.5 billion last year and is expected to expand to $88 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 32 percent, the report said.

But compared with other economies, it is still at a low level. Only 16 percent of people in the six major ASEAN economies shop online, with trade accounting for less than 1 percent of the world's total. An incomplete payment system is one of the obstacles to its development, said the report.

Peng Yijie, vice-president of Ant Financial Group, Alibaba's financial arm which operates the mobile payment system Alipay, said it is exactly the underdeveloped financial infrastructure in ASEAN countries that provides big opportunities for the company to explore in the region.

"We want to bring our technology, experience and skills to the markets in Thailand, Indonesia and the Laos," Peng said.

Ant Financial has launched a platform this year, allowing SMEs in ASEAN countries to display their information in Chinese to millions of Alipay users around the world.