Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma. Photo: Reuters/Ruben Sprich

Jack Ma’s Alibaba is readying its first blows against Amazon in the battle for Southeast Asia’s lucrative e-commerce market. TechCrunch reports the Chinese e-commerce giant made two little-noticed moves this week that show it plans to build a strong regional presence in a market that Google predicts will hit US$88 billion by 2025.

The launch of Taobao Selection in Singapore, offering 400,000 Chinese products through Alibaba’s Southeast Asia partner Lazada, followed the announcement of the company’s Electronic World Trade Platform in Malaysia, the first location outside of Jack Ma’s hometown in China.

The moves come along with reports that Amazon will delay its launch in Southeast Asia, originally planned for the first quarter of this year.