Rakuten Asia Exec: Rakuten Commits to Continue Its Business in Indonesia
A month ago, we covered the story about MNC Group’s plan to sell its stake on joint venture with Japan e-commerce giant, Rakuten. At that time, people began wondering whether Rakuten, through eits subsidiary Rakuten Belanja Online (RBO), will continue doing business in Indonesia. Today we get confirmation from Rakuten exec that the company commits to continue its business in Indonesia.
According to statement by Toru Shimada, Senior Executive Officer, Head of Asia Headquarter, Rakuten Inc, marketplace business in the region will be accelerated because of the opening of regional headquarter in Singapore last year. Although not explicitly saying about its joint venture’s ownership, we believe that RBO will be fully controlled by its regional office as a foreign-owned company.
Shimada said that Rakuten understands Indonesia has big potential to become one of the largest e-commerce market in Indonesia. Since the establishment of local office two years ago, RBO has receives enormous responses, both from merchants and consumers.
Yet, Shimada admits that to have better growth, RBO needs have deeper focus and investment. Not only about accelerating the value of B2B2C model and owned e-commerce platform, it’s more about helping e-commerce landscape evolution in this country.
No further comment on expansion plan for the near future and it’s still unclear whether Rakuten will find new partner for its business in Indonesia. While we believe that Rakuten has injected Japanese value into its core business in many countries, local wisdom of every country should gained more attention to understand about local market. Last year, Rakuten closed down its subsidiary in China, a joint venture with Baidu — Chinese’s largest search engine company.
MNC Group as Rakuten’s previous partner now makes partnership with another Internet giant from China, Tencent, bringing several mobile and Internet products to Indonesia. The flagship product of this venture is WeChat.
RBO currently has 370 merchants and aggressively aiming to reach 1000 merchants by the of the year.
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