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Cafe24, Rakuten to work together to help Korean vendors enter Japan

Aug. 27, 2015 - 20:28 By 배지숙
Takahashi Masato (left), managing executive officer at Rakuten Ichiba, and SimpleX CEO Lee Jae-suk speak at a press conference on Wednesday in Yeouido, Seoul. Cafe24

Online merchants in Korea will be allowed to sell their products on Japan’s Rakuten Inchiba without registering as local corporations.

They will also be given access to the use of local delivery system and payment tools.

The arrangements came in a deal between Rakuten Ichiba, the “B2B2C” arm of the largest online market in Japan, and local e-commerce host Cafe24, which has supported more than 75,000 online shopping malls for a decade in Korea. Rakuten Ichiba admits only Japan-based corporations, but will give special exemption to Cafe24-registered Korean vendors.

“We expect the pact to lower the entry barriers for Korean individual shopping mall operators seeking overseas business opportunities,” said Lee Jae-suk, chief executive officer of SimpleX Internet, the operator of Cafe24.

The exemption of corporation registration means that small-volume orders will be exempt from tariffs and other administrative affairs, which will save time, money and effort in administrative affairs, Lee said.

Lee projected that the new program would generate 100 billion won in sales within a year, based on the fact that about 20 percent of the e-commerce vendors working with Cafe24 aim at the Japanese market, which recorded 100 trillion won in trade volume last year.

“Every year we are seeing a sharp rise in sales of Korean baby goods -– especially garments -– as well as cosmetic goods and celebrity-related products. Brands such as Etude House and G-Holic often top their respective category charts while pop singer G-Dragon’s DVD or souvenirs dominate the overall sales charts,” said Takahashi Masato, managing executive officer at Rakuten Ichiba, explaining his company’s benefit of having more Korean merchants meeting with Japanese customers.

“Rakuten has around 100 million members and the Rakuten Ichiba unit has seen an accumulated 266.9 million buyers as of 2014. The future is good,” he added.

By Bae Ji-sook (