Alibaba Group Holding is raising its bet on populous Southeast Asia, a region that is home to more than 600 million consumers. The Chinese internet giant said Wednesday it is plowing an additional $1 billion into Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada Group, raising its stake to 83% from 51%. Alibaba had paid $1 billion for a controlling stake in the internet shopping platform last year. Based in Singapore, Lazada operates in six markets including Indonesia and the Philippines. According to The Wall Street Journal, Alibaba has made globalization a key focus of the firm’s expansion plans as competition at home intensifies. Company founder and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma recently traveled to Detroit to make a pitch alongside celebrities such as Martha Stewart, to attract U.S. businesses to sell on its platforms. Launched in 2012 as an online platform selling the goods directly to consumers, Lazada accelerated its shift to a model similar to Alibaba’s Tmall after the Chinese company’s acquisition.