BANGKOK, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Thailands top agro-industrial
conglomerate, Charoen Pokphand Group, said on Friday it will buy
Hong Kong-based e-commerce platform Chilindo for $18 million,
expanding its digital business as consumer behaviour changes.
The acquisition by the company's digital arm, Ascend
Commerce, will complement its online shopping WeMall platform
and develop Thailand's digital economy as the e-commerce market
grows amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, chief executive
Suphachai Chearavanont said in a statement.
WeMall competes with Alibabas Lazada, Sea's Shopee
and JD Central, a joint venture between top retailers,
Central Group and JD.com.
Thailand is well-known for online shoppers buying directly
from merchants through social media platforms like Instagram.
"Chilindos plan to enter the international e-commerce
market will increase the ability of Thai e-commerce brands to
compete on an international level," Suphachai added as
telecommunication operators roll out 5G technology.
CP Group owns Thailands second-largest telco operator, True
Corporation Pcl, which won 5G licenses in February.
(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng
Editing by Robert Birsel)