#Asia Bridging the Korea Strait: Rakuten and Gmarket announce trading partnership


The deal is in line with the Vision2020 plan Rakuten outlined as its roadmap to increase company revenue by the year 2020

Korea e-commerce FINAL

When Japanese e-commerce platform Rakuten shut offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia two weeks ago, the company stressed a renewed corporate focus on cross-border trading in East Asia.

In a concrete result of the mandate, Rakuten announced today a partnership with South Korea’s largest e-commerce shopping mall Gmarket to boost cross-border trading amongst merchants in both countries.

“Rakuten is delighted to announce this collaboration between the leading internet shopping mall retailers of both Japan and Korea, as another step on the path toward more active and profitable cross-border trading for merchants, small and large, of both countries,” said Masato Takahashi, Managing Executive Officer at Rakuten.

Also Read: Layoffs for Rakuten as it closes marketplaces in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia

As part of the deal, Gmarket will launch mini-stores on Rakuten Ichiba (its Japanese platform) to offer Korean fashion and beauty products in the country. At initial launch, the deal will include 200 items of women’s fashion and 100 Korean SME beauty products.

Henry Chun, Head of Gmarket, explained his perspective as to why the deal would be beneficial for his company.

“The deal will pave the way for Korean small fashion and cosmetic brands who have been struggling to introduce their unique, high-quality products to consumers worldwide, to increase their exports to Japan,” he said.

In Korea, Rakuten will launch a flagship e-commerce store on Gmarket and offer products on the Korean company’s curated commerce service G9.

The next few months will be focussed on increasing the product line on both platforms.

Also Read: Uniqlo out, Rakuten in: The e-commerce hub joins JD.com

During its fiscal year 2015 review, Rakuten revealed its Vision 2020 plan. The strategy was an inwards move which resulted in the Southeast Asia shutdowns. The desire to promote cross-border agreements in East Asia was part of the Vision 2020 plan.

This is not the first deal of this nature in recent months for Rakuten. In December, the Japanese company inked a similar deal with Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com. In that instance, Rakuten opened a store on the JD.com network.

Gmarket is owned by eBay, the American online auction company bought it for a whopping US$1.2 billion in 2009.





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