SINGAPORE: Although Amazon has delayed plans to enter the Southeast Asia region, local e-commerce firm Lazada has announced a partnership with two US companies, Netflix and Uber, to offer a membership package similar to Amazon's.
Lazada, in which Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has a controlling stake, will team up with Uber and Netflix, the first time two US companies have created an online rewards program together, Lazada CEO Maximilian Bittner told Bloomberg.
The new LiveUp service, which costs S$28 (US$20) per year, includes discounts on Uber rides and UberEats deliveries, as well as six months of Netflix streaming.
In addition, the service will link Lazada-owned online grocer RedMart and Alibaba's Taobao online marketplace.
Bittner said the service will launch initially in Singapore, which he described as "the market on the cutting edge of validating what we think consumers might want". The company also plans to add more partners in future.
"We believe that Singapore is at the tipping point in which consumers are embracing online lifestyle services like shopping, ride-sharing, food delivery and entertainment as a way of life," added Alexis Lanternier, CEO of Lazada Singapore.
For Alibaba, the move is illustrative of the broader battle with Amazon for dominance in the region. Netflix's streaming service, for example, which rivals Amazon's Prime streaming, will benefit from an initial foothold in a region where paid content is still not the norm.
For Uber, TechCrunch reported that the partnership confers on the ride-hailing service a competitive advantage over its rival Grab, which launched a membership program in the region recently.
E-commerce is at the forefront of the region's economic growth. Last year, a report co-authored by Google, forecast that e-commerce spending in Southeast Asia will reach $88bn by 2025.
And for international companies looking to expand in the region, Lazada is regarded as an effective partner. Just this month, Unilever announced an "end-to-end alliance" with the e-commerce firm, with the FMCG giant estimating that the partnership will triple sales compared to 2016.
Data sourced from Bloomberg, Lazada, TechCrunch, Google; additional content by WARC staff