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January 26, 2010

Baidu, Rakuten to build B2B2C online shopping mall

Plan to invest $50m over three years

By CBR Staff Writer

Baidu, a Chinese language search engine, and Rakuten, an e-commerce website in Japan, have entered into an agreement to jointly invest $50m over three years in a joint venture to build a business to business and business to consumer (B2B2C) online shopping mall for Chinese internet users.

The companies said that the online mall will provide customers with merchandise from Chinese and foreign brands as well as small and medium sized enterprises. Under the agreement, Rakuten will own 51% and Baidu will own 49% of the new joint venture.

The new online shopping mall, expected to go live in the second half of 2010, is anticipated to be the largest online B2B2C shopping mall in China.

Ren Xuyang, vice president of marketing and business development at Baidu, said: “As the Chinese internet space continues its rapid development, an increasing number of businesses and consumers are engaging in e-commerce. I believe the platform that Rakuten and Baidu build will provide users with a diversified, satisfying shopping experience while driving the broader development of China’s e-commerce space.”

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Kentaro Hyakuno, senior executive officer of Rakuten, said: “Baidu, with its vast reach and deep user loyalty, is the perfect compliment to Rakuten’s extensive experience in the online B2C sector. Through this joint venture, we not only are committed to providing users with the best possible online shopping environment, but also aim to create a superior platform that will grow alongside small and medium sized enterprises as well as the leading Chinese and global brands.”

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