Yahufoku, former Yahoo! Auction, Japan’s most successful auction service might not launch if then-US Yahoo COO Jerry Yang did not stick it, the current Yahuoku division unit manager told to Ascii.jp.
According to him, who joined as an engineer to the team in 2001, Yahoo! (Japan) Auction’s launch in September 1999 （so this talker seemed not there） was heavily supported by Yang, who had insisted that Yahoo! Japan must run C2C site, which he thought promising, and he offered to let US Yahoo! engineers worked on the initial development. Around 2001, all comments in the Yahoo Auction system were in English and Japanese engineers in Yahoo! Japan around that time had hard time. (There were usually a lot of Japanese comments in Japanese IT companies’ code, as Japan is a large enough market where all software engineering could work all in Japanese.)
Yahoo! Auction launched a year ahead to eBay’s Japanese version, which made eBay failed then retreated in few years.
It is still difficult to succeed C2C services in Japan, because of the cultural characteristic which customers trust shops much more than other individuals, it is where people dislike discussion and negotiations. Yahufoku is one of the very rare successful C2C sites. It has been trying to hide human touch from the auction service, which was different from eBay, who just translated the original US version.