The two companies also signed a memorandum of understanding to discuss a joint venture in the global logistics business, particularly in Southeast Asia, the statement said.

The investment deal was announced three weeks after Alibaba filed for a potentially massive initial public offering in the United States.

Lim Ho Kee, chairman of SingPost, said the company "will benefit from Alibaba's expertise in e-commerce, technology and business volumes".

Alibaba combines aspects of eBay, Amazon, PayPal and other Western tech darlings. Analysts say an investor frenzy could drive its value as high as $200 billion when it goes public later this year.

Daniel Zhang, chief operating officer of the Alibaba Group, said the Chinese firm hopes to "leverage SingPost's strong delivery networks and end-to-end e-commerce logistics".