Singapore is home-turf for Amazon's major rival, Alibaba, which indirectly owns Redmart, Singapore's largest online supermarket, through its Lazada subsidiary. This is the first time that the two have gone head-to-head in this sector in Asia.
Both major e-commerce companies face a highly segmented market as they blow through billions of dollars in the e-commerce arms race for a potential regional market of 600 million people that could reach $70bn in value.
Singapore is small, with excellent infrastructure — the per capita GDP is $81,443 at purchasing power parity — so offering two-hour deliveries shouldn’t be a challenge. But expanding into less-developed countries like Vietnam could be more of a slog.
“We are pleased that Amazon has chosen to launch a new operating model with Amazon Prime Now in Singapore,” said Kiren Kumar, assistant managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board. “With Prime Now, Amazon will also play a key role in training and equipping our local ecosystem and workforce with cross-disciplinary digital capabilities.”
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.