Amazon is set to announce plans for Southeast Asia in the near future. A report indicates that it could be as early as this week, with Singapore being the centre of attention.
Techcrunch cites an unnamed source with knowledge of Amazon’s plans, claiming that Singapore will be the focal point of its expansion into the region. The city state was chosen due to its more westernised shopping culture. Making it easier for Amazon to gain a foothold and attempt to fend off Chinese rivals Alibaba.
Indonesia is also expected to play a large role in the SEA expansion. The country is tipped to account for 50 percent of all e-commerce spending in this region, which makes it a very attractive target for Amazon.
Amazon itself has been dropping subtle hints about an impending entry into Singapore. The company has been engaging social media influencers, creating a trail of sponsored content teasing the online retailer.
Amazon had originally planned to enter the SEA region in Q1 2017; although that has proven to be an overly ambitious plan. It’s now Q3 and the company has been left behind by challenges from Chinese companies.
Alibaba has been aggressively expanding in the region. Going as far as to purchase shares in online retailer Lazada, and managing to get founder Jack Ma appointed as a special advisor to the Malaysian government.
It’ll be challenging for Amazon to figure out how to break into the Asian mindset. Something that its rivals are already accustomed to and have plenty of experience dealing with. Still, it’s necessary for the American company to expand beyond its existing markets in order to check the growth of the Chinese.