Alibaba Will Bring Regional Distribution Hub to Malaysia
Alibaba will be setting up their regional distribution hub in Malaysia, according to Reuters.
The hub is said to be situated within KLIA Aeropolis, a development by airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), which is expected to generate over 7 billion ringgit ($1.58 billion) worth of domestic and foreign investments.
According to Reuters’ sources, Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will be expected to announce plans at an event in Kuala Lumpur next week. The hub will be set up with the help of Malaysian state-linked agencies. It was not clear whether Alibaba would invest any funds in the project.
“Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has existing facility for Alibaba Group to pilot their distribution services here, and if (Alibaba) decide to expand in the future, there is the option to build more on other (undeveloped) sites in KLIA Aeropolis,” one source said.
Ma was appointed the digital economy adviser to the Malaysian government by Najib during an official trip to China in November. It was reported that Ma would help steer Malaysia’s e-economy development with the implementation of online payment and banking.
“Many people see Malaysia as an emerging hub next to Singapore. Malaysia may not be able to take all of Singapore’s business but it is a good choice (logistically),” one source said.
If sources were true, this would be the Chinese e-commerce giant’s first investment in Malaysia. Last year Alibaba invested $1 billion to control Singapore-based e-commerce platform Lazada.
Sources said the distribution hub would be part of Malaysia’s Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), also slated to be launched during Ma’s visit next week. Plans to establish the DFTZ were announced in the national budget last October.