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Thai e-commerce goes global as CP’s Ascend acquires Chinese auction site

Thai e-commerce goes global as CP’s Ascend acquires Chinese auction site

FRIDAY, August 07, 2020

Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) has announced its subsidiary Ascend Commerce is paying Bt558 million to acquire Chilindo, a foreign e-commerce business headquartered in Hong Kong.

E-commerce has become a mainstream channel in the Covid-19 “new normal” era and represented another way to stimulate and revitalise the Thai economy, said CP Group CEO Suphachai Chearavanont, explaining the move.
Most importantly, e-commerce was the business of the future in the 4.0 era, he added.
Ascend Commerce is buying 100 per cent of shares in Chilindo in order to upgrade its Thai online shopping platform WeMall.
Investment in Chilindo will act as a pilot for the establishment of a Thai e-commerce platform that will help raise Thai e-commerce to an international level, Suphachai said. At present, the e-commerce market in Thailand is mostly operated by transnational businesses.
“To strengthen Thailand’s e-commerce, priority must be given to Thai SMEs, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic that has changed the behaviour of consumers. Through the acquisition of Chilindo, Thailand will have its own e-commerce platform, which can be regarded as turning a crisis into an opportunity, accelerating the development of Thailand’s digital economy as well as stimulating the country’s economy in time for the arrival of 5G technology,” said Suphachai. 
He said the platform would provide a marketing channel for SMEs and Thai farmers to sell their products overseas. 
Thailand’s Bt3 trillion e-commerce market is expected to grow by up to 19 per cent this year, with domestic online trading accounting for 1.5 per cent of private consumption or 0.8 per cent of full-year GDP, according to CP.
The Chilindo platform uses an auction model, with the minimum bid price set at Bt1 and all purchases traceable to guarantee sellers are genuine.