As Pakistan grows at a rate rarely seen in developing countries, companies are taking notice. Chinese online retail giant Alibaba is one in a long line of investors seeking to capitalize on the rapidly expanding market. A source confirmed to Bloomberg that the multinational enterprise is indeed considering buying Daraz, an ecommerce platform currently owned by Rocket Internet.

One Step Ahead

Alibaba has been one step ahead of numerous companies trying to gain ground on the Asian market in online retailing, and current steps taken by the company show the reason for this lead.

While the company has not officially confirmed an impending acquisition of Daraz, it has been involved in a more open deal that shows its dedication to expansion. A subsidiary of the China-based firm was recently involved in the purchase of $184.5 million worth of stake in a subsidiary of Telenor Group. The purchase of the shares brings total ownership of Alibaba’s Ant Financial to 45%.

By buying these shares in Telenor Group’s holdings, Alibaba has set itself up to be a large market shareholder in the Asian market in all things to do with virtual payment. The company will now be able to innovate and make its name known in the mobile payment niche.

Should Alibaba go through with its purchase of Daraz, its place on the Asian market will be even more secured. Pakistan has a large number of youth who make online purchases, and those figures are increasing every day. With over 30 million daily internet users and competition for the region increasing, this could be a crucial step for the company.

Alibaba’s move comes after its US-based competitor started its campaign to win over customers in Singapore. The two companies are currently the largest grossing online retail platforms in the world.

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