Sat, Jun 22, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Rakuten to buy remaining shares of local venture

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Rakuten Inc will buy back the 49 percent shares it does not own in the NT$174 million (US$5.39 million) local online shopping site from President Chain Store Corp (統一超商) for an unspecified amount by the end of this month.

Tokyo-based Rakuten will own 100 percent of Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan (台灣樂天市場) after it ends five years of business partnership with Taiwan’s largest convenience store chain operator, Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan said in a statement yesterday.

FIRST OUTSIDE JAPAN

Established in May 2008, Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan was the Japanese company’s first online shopping Web site outside Japan and represented the first cross-border collaboration between Rakuten and Uni-President Group (統一集團).

The transaction will not affect the cooperation between Rakuten and President Chain, which operates 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan. People can still go to 7-Eleven to pick up products they purchased on Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan, the company said.

Rakuten plans to increase its investment in Taiwan to expedite the growth of the local operation. The company will provide more services to its customers and seek other cooperation possibilities with local businesses, the statement said.

BELOW TARGET

Rakuten had expected the local shopping site to attract up to 3,000 virtual stores within three years of operation, but according to local media reports, Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan had only 2,000 stores as of last month.

Rakuten operates online shopping platforms in 25 countries.

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