Tue, Oct 17, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Ruten's list of items increasing much faster than expected

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Representatives from PC Home Online hold an ice-breaking ceremony yesterday to celebrate the company's online auction portal, Ruten, a joint venture with eBay Taiwan, breaking the 1 million mark for auction listings ahead of schedule.

PHOTO: CNA

PChome eBay Co (露天市集), which runs the nation's second-largest online auction portal Ruten.com, announced yesterday it had already surpassed 1 million listings, and is well ahead of schedule.

PChome eBay was established on Sept. 6 through the combination of PC Home Online and eBay Taiwan to contend head-to-head with bigger rival Yahoo-Kimo Inc (雅虎奇摩), which boasts over 3 million listings.

The Ruten beta version was unveiled on Sept. 25, and the number of items had passed the 1 million mark within the first week, about three weeks earlier than expected.

The figure is expected to double to 2 million by December, instead of September next year as originally planned, according to Simon Yeh (葉奇鑫), chief executive officer of PChome eBay.

"Our free-of-charge service has given us a huge advantage over our rival," he said.

Yahoo-Kimo began charging sellers a transaction handling fee last month -- 3 percent of the selling price -- on top of a listing fee of NT$3 per item.

The move outraged many members, who decided to switch to PChome eBay.

According to PChome eBay, eBay Taiwan has transferred the usernames and passwords of its users to the new venture, which has a registered capital of NT$320 million (US$9.74 million), and is led by PC Home chairman Jan Hung-tze (詹宏志).

While eBay currently has no day-to-day operations in Taiwan, the auction giant earlier this month launched another platform that enables local vendors to sell their goods to overseas buyers.

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