Alibaba’s Lazada Group has named a former Alipay executive for a newly created position to oversee payments in Southeast Asia. The company announced on Friday (Sept. 17) that Dayong Zhang, former general manager of Alipay, will become Lazada’s head of payments.
“With his payments background and experience, he will be able to lead Lazada into the next chapter of its growth and further strengthen our competitive advantage through payments technology,” Lazada said in a statement.
Meanwhile, James Chang, Lazada’s Singapore CEO, will become the group’s chief business officer, with Wee Lee Loh, head of Lazada Group CEO’s office, replacing Chang as the Singapore chief.
According to a Bloomberg report, since Lazada CEO Chun Li took the reins of the company last year, the firm has invested in technology and focused on localization to match the tastes of consumers in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Lazada enjoyed more than 90% order growth during the quarter that concluded in June and boasts about 150 million monthly average users.
As Bloomberg News noted, the announcement underlines the company’s endeavors to compete with regional online rivals like Grab Holdings and Sea Ltd. Those companies have launched their own payment products at a time when the market is expanding with a rising demand for online shopping.
Earlier this week, Grab posted second-quarter earnings that showcased its focus on building out its app integrations with enhanced financial service products. Anthony Tan, group CEO and co-founder of Grab, said that in Southeast Asia, consumers’ spending on its super app offerings has risen 27% year over year.
“At the same time, we’re creating more opportunities for merchants — our GrabFood merchant base has more than doubled, while merchants using GrabPay nearly tripled,” Tan added.