Facebook launches Marketplace in Thailand; it’s now in 25 countries

07 Nov 2017

Facebook Marketplace is now operating in Thailand — the first Southeast Asian country where the “stuff” section has launched, and the 25th country worldwide.

It’s a curiosity that Facebook launched in Thailand before Indonesia, which is the largest Facebook market in Southeast Asia and fourth-largest in the world, behind India, the U.S. and Brazil. But it would have faced very heavy competition there from Tokopedia. Facebook recently opened an office in Indonesia.

Facebook has been testing social commerce payments for more than a year in Thailand with Qwik, from Southeast Asia-based fin-tech company 2C2P. 2C2P — it stands for cash and credit peer-to-peer payment platform — says on its home page that handles those processes so users can make payments without leaving the social network.

The service is important in Thailand, where there is little or no internet banking and low credit card usage, and where small merchants don’t use cash-on-delivery services.

Facebook Marketplace would also need to assess how it would be able to also keep messaging and transactions on its own platform. TechCrunch last year reported nearly all transactions from Facebook stores in Thailand and otherwise start on one social network and finish on another.

The Facebook Marketplace launch in Southeast Asia could have a major impact on c-to-c apps and sites like Carousell and Tokopedia. Just like the entrance of Amazon into Southeast Asia, Facebook is making little fanfare, at least at first.

Carousell, based in Singapore, received a Series C funding round of $70 to $80 million (U.S.) about two weeks ago, according to TechCrunch, bringing its total funding to more than $111 million. It has more than 95 million listings operates in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia. Investors in Carousell include Rakuten, Sequoia Capital and Golden Gate Ventures.

Tokopedia, which operates only in Indonesia, raised $1.1 billion (U.S.) from Alibaba in August, bringing its total funding to more than $1.3 billion.

In addition to Thailand, Facebook Marketplace is now available in the U.S., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and United Kingdom.

“We’ll continue expanding to other countries,” Facebook says on its Marketplace introductory page.

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Marian Jacob

Marian Jacob is covering South East Asia. Marian worked in marketing and corporate communications for over a decade, covering both internal and external communications. She began her career in professional services, leading up to communications business partnering in various multi-national organizations with progressive cultures. Marian has worked on both global and regional roles within communications. She also provides counsel to companies on strategic communications and marketing opportunities. She was an editor on the Singapore Audit Committee Guidance Committee Handbook for companies.