Rakuten is continuing its aggressive internationalization: the company today created a special section on Thailand’s leading e-commerce site, TARAD.com (which Rakuten took over in 2009), that allows Japanese users to buy Thai products – in Japanese, directly from Thailand-based merchants.
Here’s the URL to that section:
It’s pretty weird to see Thai and Japanese language mixed on the page, and I think this will make lots of potential Japanese users shy away from buying products.
Full text of the press release below:
Tokyo and Bangkok, June 23, 2011
TARAD Dot Com Co., Ltd. (“TARAD,” Head Office: Bangkok, Thailand), a subsidiary of Rakuten, Inc. (“Rakuten,” Chairman and CEO: Hiroshi Mikitani, Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo), launched a special site on Thailand’s largest e-commerce site, “TARAD.com,” run by TARAD, on 23 June 2011 to allow users in Japan to purchase Thai products.
The establishment of the special site is the first joint initiative by Rakuten, TARAD, the Thai Ministry of Commerce and JETRO Bangkok under their collaboration agreement to support Thai small- and medium-sized enterprises in international e-commerce, which was originally announced in March 2011. Users in Japan will be easily able to purchase Thai products through a direct link from “Rakuten Ichiba,” an internet shopping mall managed by Rakuten, to the special Japanese-language site created on TARAD.com.
This is the third service to allow users in Japan to directly purchase local goods from international Rakuten Group ecommerce websites, following special websites in Taiwan and the United States.
The latest initiative will start with 9 shops (around 100 items) on TARAD.com in cooperation with the Thai Ministry of Commerce and JETRO Bangkok. We will continue to introduce attractive Thai products to users in Japan, expanding the product range to include seasonal fruits and products less commonly available in Japan.
Mr. Toshiya Matsuo, CEO of TARAD.com, commented, “We were able to start a new project to support Thai small- and medium-sized enterprises with the cooperation of the Thai Ministry of Commerce and JETRO Bangkok. Going forward, TARAD will continue to support Thai small- and medium-sized enterprises as Rakuten’s Global Group company and will in the future provide a borderless shopping environment and attractive Thai products to users around the world.”