A Fourth Estate® Service

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Latin America’s Biggest E-Commerce Company Rises Amid COVID-19 Crisis

The biggest e-commerce company of Latin America is revving up its digital payment engine as shops shift online because of the COVID-19 crisis, and is looking toward the Chinese system for inspiration to bring cash-loving savers online.

Latin America’s largest e-commerce company is revving up its digital payment engine as shops shift online because of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Mercado Libre is looking toward the Chinese system for inspiration to bring cash-loving savers online.

Transactions on the platform of Mercado Pago, which is known for being the finance unit of Mercado Libre, tripled in the second quarter of this year, with its Chief Executive Officer Osvaldo Gimenez seeing Alibaba as the model to follow in the region.

“Many of the things we did were inspired by how they have worked in China,” Gimenez told Infobae, pointing out that the unit also had close ties with Tencent Holdings, India’s Paytm and US giant PayPal, which invested $750 million in Mercado Libre in 2019.

“When we saw what Ant Financial had done with their investment fund, we replicated that with our investment funds in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico,” he also explained, referring to a money market fund for savers akin to Ant Group’s Yu’e Bao.

The market capitalization of Mercado Libre has tripled this year alone to $61.6 billion, though that is still a far cry from Ant Group’s targeted valuation of $250 billion. 

Mercado Pago’s fund, luring savers to invest small sums for higher returns than at banks, has over 11 million users, which is far smaller than Yu’e Bao.

Editors Note: There was a minor typograpical error In the story “MERCADO-LIBRE-RISES” sent at: 20.10.2020 08:39. This is a corrected repeat.

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