Rakuten, owner of Japan’s largest Internet commerce site, has announced that it has terminated its joint venture with Indonesian company PT Global Mediacom (MNC Group). This will effectively end the online existence of Indonesian online shopping mall Rakuten Belanja Online, which is still up as of the moment.
Rakuten Belanja Online, like the Japanese original, sells goods ranging from clothing and electronics to books and cosmetics over the Internet. The joint venture was launched in June 2011, as Rakuten acquired a 51 per cent stake in the business while the remaining stakes were owned by the MNC Group. The signs were initially good for the online mall and the numbers were rising – the venture revealed in November that the number of merchants and products offered on its website had grown by more than 500 per cent within 18 months. The number of merchants started at 60 and rose to around 400, while number of products had risen to more than 300,000.
Still, Rakuten decided that the numbers were not good enough. Compared to Japan’s numbers, they do look small in comparison – Rakuten Ichiba in Japan offers more than 40,000 merchants and 100 million products. Rakuten are known to end deals that they think are not agreeable to their business targets. Last year, it ended its e-commerce partnership in China with Baidu because the business venture could not progress due to intense competition.
If Indonesia’s Rakuten Belanja Online stops its Internet commerce services, Rakuten will still be present in Southeast Asia through Rakuten Online Shopping in Malaysia and Tarad.com in Thailand. In November last year, Rakuten also had plans to enter Thailand’s credit card market by providing its own electronic card payment system.
[ via Inside Retail Asia ]