Major Japanese trading (and Fortune 500) company Itochu is making a foray into the Asian e-commerce space. According to The Nikkei, Itochu made two investments recently, having bought into Hong Kong-based online shopping company Fortune Link (website is currently down) and Taiwan-based PChome.
About 10% of each of these sites have been acquired by Itochu, The Nikkei reports. What’s interesting is that the Japanese company seems to have made the investments with the Chinese market in mind.
For example, Fortune Link has built up a an express delivery network in China with the local (state-owned) postal services to get orders to customers faster. The site’s core business is to sell brand name products to Chinese online shoppers. Itochu plans to supply clothing, cosmetics and other apparel to Fortune Link and plans to have a total of 10,000 of such items listed in six months.
PChome, one of Taiwan’s biggest online shopping portals, currently offers more than 3 million different items (Alexa says it’s Taiwan’s No. 12 website overall). Itochu is reportedly planning to support PChome’s entry into other parts of Asia by taking over product procurement.
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