Jessica Liu, president of Alibaba’s Southeast Asian shopping platform Lazada, is reportedly set to leave her role to join ByteDance-owned short-video app Douyin’s e-commerce division, 36Kr reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.
However, when contacted by 36Kr on the topic, Liu responded, “It is quite a fresh idea to me. I am well at Lazada in Singapore. Thanks all for your care.”
Meanwhile, Alibaba denied that Liu was planning to resign when contacted by KrASIA on Wednesday. ByteDance, which also owns TikTok, didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
Liu worked at Alibaba for nearly ten years before joining Lazada in 2020, where she rose to the position of CEO in Thailand in January 2021, becoming the first female CEO in the company’s history. She previously reported to Tmall president Jiang Fan, covering business areas that included clothing, jewelry, and accessories.
ByteDance’s Douyin has increasingly threatened e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba, JD.com, and Pinduoduo. The gross merchandise volume (GMV) on Douyin reached RMB 500 billion (USD 77.5 billion) in 2020, including transactions on its Douyin Xiaodian marketplace, as well as deals that were directed to and closed on third-party e-commerce platforms such as JD.com and Taobao, Chinese media LatePost said. Douyin set up its own e-commerce unit in June 2020.
For this year, Douyin has set a target of RMB 1 trillion in GMV, according to LatePost, not far below the RMB 1.27 trillion Pinduoduo reached in the twelve months ended June 30, 2020.
Douyin’s overseas sister app TikTok, although late in monetizing its huge user traffic, started testing e-commerce functionalities on February 16 to on-board businesses in Indonesia.