China's biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group, broke into the Pakistani market on Tuesday by fully acquiring the Daraz Group.
"With the acquisition, Daraz will be able to leverage Alibaba’s leadership and experience in technology, online commerce, mobile payment and logistics to drive further growth in the five South Asian markets that have a combined population of over 460 million, 60% of which are under the age of 35," said a press release issued by Daraz.
Founded in Pakistan in 2012, Daraz has since expanded in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It will continue to operate under the same brand, said the press release.
Hailing the move, Daraz Co-CEOs Bjarke Mikkelsen and Jonathan Doerr said that there is still a long way to go on the e-commerce journey. "We have still only scratched the surface of the potential," they said.
Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, said: "Together with Daraz, we can now empower entrepreneurs to better serve consumers in the region through our technology and expertise. In Daraz, we found a great team that espouses our values and believes that a technology-enabled commerce ecosystem will play a critical role in driving the long term economic development in South Asia."
The Alibaba group has been for some time trying to enter the Pakistani market. Last year, it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Commerce and had been in talks with Daraz since at least earlier this year.