Alibaba buys stake in Singapore's postal provider logo and woman walking Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Alibaba has grown to become one of the world's biggest e-commerce firms

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has bought up a 10% stake in Singapore's national postal service provider SingPost for S$312.5m ($249m; £148m).

The move comes as Alibaba - one of the world's biggest e-commerce firms - has been looking to expand its operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The two firms said they will also discuss setting up an international e-commerce logistics business.

Asia-Pacific is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets.

According to some estimates, e-commerce sales in the region are expected to grow to more than $1 trillion by 2020.

"E-commerce logistics is the key enabler to capture the growth in e-commerce in Asia," Wolfgang Baier, chief executive of SingPost said in a statement.

"With the tremendous e-commerce opportunity, the funds from this investment provide SingPost with financial flexibility and enable us to significantly scale up our e-commerce logistics business and build new capabilities as we are poised for growth in the region."

This is the second major investment that Alibaba has made in the logistics business.

In December last year, it announced a $364m investment in Chinese appliances maker Haier Electronics as part of a deal between the two companies to form a logistics joint venture.

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