Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. announced that it has acquired Pakistan-based Daraz Group, a leading e-commerce company in Southeast Asia. The acquisition comes after a recent investment in Lazada, another Southeast Asian e-commerce company. Daraz has 30,000 sellers and 500 brands on its platform, according to the release. “With a combined netizen population of approximately 90 million (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal), Daraz’s current market represents a sizable growth opportunity for Alibaba,” said Declan Kearney, Clavis Insight’s APAC general manager. “Although the market is many years behind China (in terms of shopper sophistication & retailer e-capabilities), Alibaba’s investment is certain to accelerate online retail growth over coming years.” Walmart Inc. announced Wednesday that it has taken a 77% stake in India’s Flipkart e-commerce platform for $16 billion, demonstrating the growing retail competition in the region. Alibaba shares are up 13.5% for the year so far while the S&P 500 index is up 0.5% for the period.