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Ebay launches Japanese drive with Yahoo

06 декабря 2007

Ebay is to re-enter the world’s second-largest e-commerce market, by linking up with Yahoo Japan, the country’s leading search engine and auction site.

The move is part of Ebay’s continued push into foreign markets in a bid to counter stagnant growth in the US.Ebay launches Japanese drive with Yahoo

The world’s leading auction site, which launched in Japan in 2000 only to beat a hasty retreat, has been aggressively linking up with partners across Asia. Just over half of Ebay’s revenues are generated from international markets.

Ebay and Yahoo Japan have launched a new site, sekaimon.com, which allows users to search Ebay for vintage Louis Vuitton bags and Lladro figurines in Japanese.

The weak dollar, hovering at an 18-month low of Y109, will also spur shoppers into buying dollar-denominated goods on the site, which are converted into yen at the daily exchange rate.

By the end of next year, Ebay and Yahoo Japan hope to enable US consumers to bid for Japanese goods too.

The new site will eliminate arbitrage trading. Some Japanese buy brand-name goods cheaply on Ebay, only to sell them at a premium on Yahoo Japan’s auction site.

Ebay’s previous launch in Japan in 2000 was scuppered after it failed to compete with Yahoo Japan due to technical glitches and strategic blunders.

More recently, Ebay suffered a blow in China when it closed its main online auction website and replaced it with a minority-invested joint venture, giving control to Tom Online, the Beijing-based portal and telecom service operator.

The partnership with Yahoo Japan, which has 20m users, will help boost Ebay’s presence in a country where it has very little brand recognition.

The new site, as well as payment and shipping services, will be operated by netprice.com. A surcharge of 15 per cent will be added to items bought through the site, with the three companies splitting the revenues.

Masahiro Inoue, the chief executive of Yahoo Japan, said he hoped the company could expand into other countries via similar deals. He said the tie-up with Ebay could lead to a capital investment between the two companies.

Lorrie Norrington, head of Ebay’s international operations, said tie-ups between the two outside of auctions were also a possibility.

Yahoo Japan, which has more than half of the online auction market in Japan, is owned one-third by Yahoo and 40 per cent by Softbank, the Japanese internet and telecoms company.

Источник: Financial Times

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