TOKYO and KUALA LUMPUR, May 24, 2012 -- Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), Japan’s top e-commerce company, today announced plans to launch an Internet shopping mall in Malaysia, Rakuten Online Shopping. The service will introduce consumers in Malaysia to an entirely new and unique online shopping experience. Rakuten is currently recruiting merchant partners to populate its online shopping mall leading up to its launch in late 2012.
Rakuten Online Shopping will focus on offering consumers in Malaysia the best local and international goods while employing Japan’s world famous customer service standards. Rakuten Online Shopping expands Rakuten’s footprint in South East Asia, marking its third e-commerce market entry in the region, following TARAD.com in Thailand in 2009, and Indonesia’s Rakuten Belanja Online in 2011.
“The Rakuten shopping experience brings the best of both worlds to consumers and merchants,” said Rakuten Online Shopping President and Chief Executive Officer Masaya Ueno. “We empower merchants with the platform, tools and know-how they need to run successful online businesses. We also enable them to customize their storefronts to maximize their own brand appeal and allow them to communicate directly with their customers. This flexibility and interaction bring the online shopping experience to life and puts the fun back in shopping.”
In 1997, Rakuten launched a pioneering e-commerce platform, Rakuten Ichiba, in Japan that utilizes a business to business to consumer (B2B2C) model, whereby merchants build online storefronts on the marketplace and sell directly to consumers. This unique model empowers consumers and merchants alike and has driven Rakuten to become the world’s third largest e-commerce company by revenue.
Ueno explained, “Malaysia is an attractive market owing to its economic stability and well-equipped infrastructure for the development of e-commerce, including Internet, logistics and online payment facilities. Malaysia market growth and encouraging online shopping trends present Rakuten with a bright opportunity in this market.”
“The market indications validate our timely entry into the market. At this initial phase, Rakuten seeks to partner mid-sized and large retailers across industries in Malaysia including fashion and apparel, IT and electronics, books and luxury goods,” added Ueno. “We aim to foster continued e-commerce growth in Malaysia by transferring our knowledge and helping retailers to make online shopping a truly viable and sustainable business, leveraging on our 15 years of e-commerce expertise.”
Malaysia is a growing market that boasts a very high Internet penetration rate among the ASEAN countries, and the online shopping market is set to grow at an accelerated pace in the future. Internet retailing reached RM842 million in 2011 and the number is expected to exceed RM1.9 billion by 2016 (*).
Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal & media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees and partner staff worldwide. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com/group
(*) Euromonitor International, 2011