Chun Li Announced As New Lazada Group CEO (We’re Not Kidding)

It’s only fitting that one of Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce platforms, Lazada, is now spearheaded by the self-proclaimed strongest woman in the world.

Yup, it’s not a ruse — Chun Li has been named the new CEO of the Southeast Asian arm of Alibaba Group Holding, as was announced in a recent press release.

Li Chun, new CEO of Lazada Group in 2020.

Li Chun (just to clarify, this is his actual name, but due to Western naming conventions the family names usually come last, hence we understand the initial confusion of some), is currently the head of the branch in Indonesia. He will take over from the outgoing CEO, Pierre Poignant, who in turn will assume the role of special assistant to Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang.

One can imagine how things on the Lazada app and website might change under the new leadership. Flash deals could be replaced by Lightning (Kick) deals; folks will have to hold Back+ Forward + Back + Forward + Any Kick Button to be able to access exclusive sales, and perform the Senretsu Kyaku (Thousand Rending Kicks) to slash (read: kick) prices down to a minimum.

Under Li’s leadership, Lazada’s competitive edge will be further strengthened “through data technology application and business localization across the six markets.”

If someone like Chun Li is now in Lazada’s ranks, it’ll take an equally badass-sounding executive’s name from Amazon or Shopee to level the playing field.

(The existing team is probably figuring out their new button combos when their new boss comes in. If only real life had a pause button with a move list.)

Here’s the press release in full:

Southeast Asia’s leading eCommerce platform Lazada Group announced today that Chun Li will be appointed Group Chief Executive Officer to drive the company’s next phase of growth under an accelerated digitalization landscape in the region. 

With his deep experience in technology architecture and product strategy, Li will further strengthen Lazada’s competitive advantage through data technology application and business localization across the six markets. Having served as both President and Lazada Indonesia CEO over the last three years, Li has an intimate understanding of Lazada’s business and market landscape. Li will succeed Pierre Poignant, who will become special assistant to Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang.

“Chun is an experienced business leader who can realize Lazada’s vision of unifying commerce with technology to advance Southeast Asia’s digital economy,” said Lucy Peng, Lazada Group Chairwoman. “Under Pierre’s leadership, Lazada has delivered healthy growth over the past two years. As a member of Lazada’s founding team, Pierre has inspired all of us through his dedication, passion, humility and perseverance. We are deeply grateful to Pierre for his invaluable contributions in building the solid foundation for Lazada’s long term sustainable success.”

“Lazada’s priority is to create unique value for our consumers and merchants in Southeast Asia. There is incredible momentum for eCommerce across the region, and together with our strong local talents, we will step up Lazada’s digital innovation and commercial development to empower our customers to be successful and provide the best user experience for our consumers,” said Chun Li, Lazada Group CEO.

Lazada served over 70 million unique consumers in six countries for the twelve months ended March 31, 2020. The company continues to gain market share in Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia. In the same period, Lazada Indonesia’s orders grew more than 170% year-on-year, which outpaces the competition. 

Lazada continues to implement innovative consumer engagement strategies, backed by world-class technology from Alibaba’s digital economy. Development of local talent continues to be a top priority for Lazada. Currently, more than 90% of Lazada’s talents are local. 

Li Chun graduated with bachelor’s dual degree in mechanics and economics law from Peking University, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio State University. He joined Alibaba Group in 2014 as Chief Technology Officer for Alibaba B2B business unit. He was appointed co-President of Lazada in June 2017 and was also named Lazada Indonesia CEO in July 2019.