Two of the largest and quite popular tech companies are competing for the growing startup ecosystem of South Asia – Tencent and Alibaba. Both the companies are China-based and are sworn enemies in the country but they seem to have the same interest.

Tencent and Alibaba going after the same market

The China based Alibaba Corp. and Tencent are the companies that are importing vast business experience and large sums of capital into the most promising startups of Southeast Asia. Tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple are far behind the two Chinese companies.

According to a report by news site TechCrunch, “Southeast Asia has long been an area of interest for business for its neighbors. Tech aside, Southeast Asia is home to more than 600 million consumers, with six primary markets — Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines — standing out for growing economies and rising middle-classes of consumers.”

Last year, a report co-authored by Google showed that Southeast Asia has 260 million internet users with 3.8 million more going online per month. That is expected to grow the internet population to 480 million people by 2020. This is not in the level of China yet as the country has 731 million internet users but it does mean that Southeast Asia – alongside India – is a region of serious tech development potential.

50% e-commerce to come from Indonesia: Google report

The report by the search giant added that the internet economy of the region will be worth $200 billion by 2025. The e-commerce, including online retail, is expected to hike to $88 billion in 2025 from $5.5 billion in 2015. According to the report, around 50% of that will originate from Indonesia, the fourth largest country worldwide.

In April 2016, the Chinese e-commerce giant – Alibaba – has already made a giant investment of $1 billion in Lazada – a Amazon-like online retailing giant that serves over six countries in Southeast Asia. Last month, Max Bittner – CEO of Lazada – said in an interview to TechCrunch that his company is planning to extend both services that are currently only available in Singapore, to different markets.

He said, “We’re found the right balance between us having the freedom [for our business] and falling back on Alibaba as our big brother willing to help us when we need it.”