Jerry Yang’s 1999 Order Thanked By Japanese Auction Dominator Yahuoku

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

According to him, who joined as an engineer to the team in 2001, said that Yahoo! (Japan) Auction’s launch in September 1999 (so this talker seemed not there) was heavily much 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.) and offered let US engineers developed the first system.

Yahoo! Auction launched a year ahead to eBay’s Japanese version, which made eBay failed then retreated in in a few years.

It is still difficult to succeed C2C services raise a C2C service in Japan, because of the cultural characteristic which customers where people trust shops much more than other individuals, it is and 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 on the auction service, which was different from eBay, who just translated the original US version.

Jerry Yang’s 1999 Order Thanked By Japanese Auction Dominator Yahuoku

A Keepsake Picture With Tokyo Gundam Auctioned For Over 1 Million Yen [Update: 2.6 mil Yen]

You might have already seen photos of a “real” sized Gundam statue standing in Odaiba, Tokyo bay front. If not, you can see thousands of pictures on Flickr.

The organization behind it, Green Tokyo Gundam Project Committee, who claims that building Gundam is for ecology enlightenment and inviting the Olympics to Tokyo in 2016, holds a charity auction on Japan’s biggest auction website, Yahoo! Auction. The single winning bidder will be able to stand on top of Gundam’s shoulder and have a memorial photo taken by a professional photographer.


On the day before the closing time (July 17th 17:00, Japan Standard Time), there have been 342 bids so far and the current price is 1,008,000 yen (about 10,000 US dollars).

As the seller strictly prohibits secondary use of photos on the auction page, and Japan’s copyright law does not support fair-use, I avoid to quote those pictures. Please go and take a look here.

For budget travellers, there is another full-sized Gundam, only bust though, at Nasu Highland Park, Tochigi prefecture [J]. There you may climb up to its shoulder and take pictures freely. There are 4 of 1/1 sized Gundams in Japan this summer.

[Update] The final bid was 2,601,000 yen (about 26,000 USD).

via Slashdot Japan [J]

(English corrections by Sean O’Hagan)

See Also:

Assembling a plastic model Gundam in front of Odaiba Gundam – Gizmode Japan [J]

Gundam at Nasu Highland Park by [J]

Now eBay Acts To Capture The Flag In The Far East

eBay's Logo Gmarket's LogoAuction(IAC)'s Logo

Yahoo's LogoInterpark's Logo

On Wednesday, eBay announced it had agreed to take over Gmarket, a South Korea’s e-commerce marketplace.   The company’s shareholders, Yahoo U.S. and Korea’s Interpark[K] also reportedly agreed to sell their Gmarket shares to eBay.

By merging Gmarket with eBay’s Korean local subsidiary called Auction (IAC)[K], e-Bay expects to get ahead and to keep aggressive position in the country’s e-commerce market.   IAC is specifically focusing on computer products and electronic devices, and it handled the total brokerage amount for USD2.2B and earned USD161.2M revenue in the last fiscal period.   Gmarket is focusing on selling fashion items, and the company dealed with items for USD3.2B and earned USD 220.8M in the period.

eBay Japan's Logo's Logo Sekaimon's Logo

In Tokyo, eBay also re-launched a local site “[J]” on April 1st.   In the timeline, nine years ago, eBay entered Japan in partnership with NEC Biglobe[J], Japan’s second largest ISP with over 5 million subscribers.   However, in spite of the fifteen-month-efforts to engage more users and to defeat Yahoo Japan’s auction site, eBay Japan site was forced to shut down for the lack of revenue.

In late 2007, in association with Tokyo-based conglomerete and Yahoo Japan[J] which used to be a rival, eBay launched the website called Seikaimon[J] for encouraging Japanese online shoppers to use, by translating item introductions into Japanese and surrogating customs processing for importing items purchased(see Akky’s this previous article and Arai’s this article for more details). is a new entrance to the website described, and it’s not an auction site but provides translated indexes to each items listed on, telephone assistance service in Japanese and video webinars for better biding.

See Also:

Yahoo! Japan launches English version of their auction site

Yahoo! Japan Auction screen shot

Yahoo! Japan introduced an English version of Yahoo! Japan Auctions on October 10th, 2008. Its target audience is foreign residents in Japan who can communicate in basic Japanese but prefer to use an English interface.

Yahoo! Japan Auctions is the biggest Internet auction site in Japan.

The major drawback of the English site is that only items whose sellers have checked the ‘display on English site’ option are shown. Currently, only a few items are shown on the English site. Also, it is not possible to sell an item through the English site at the moment.

The English version of Yahoo! Japan Auctions is the opposite of Sekaimon [JP], a Japanese version of eBay.

[Updated] Yahoo! Japan made a quick decision to shut down the English version just after half an year. Release [J]

eBay shakes hands with Yahoo! Japan

Yahoo! Japan eBay

Yahoo! Japan, the Japan biggest portal, has partnered with eBay in online auction services.

eBay Inc. once tried to open its popular auction service under its subsidiary eBay Japan established in 1999, retreated March 2002 without getting market share against “Yahoo! Auction” (so-called “Yafuoku”).

Yahoo! Auction users will have translated eBay items listed by March 2008, whilst eBay will have Japanese staffs (such like “popular Japanese Manga, CD, character merchandise”) by the end of 2008.

Two companies also opened standalone site “Sekaimon” (“Sekai” means “world”), on where Yahoo! Japan users can log in by Yahoo! Japan ID and purchase eBay items with Japanese menu and online agent support.

Other Japanese online auction players are Rakuten‘s “Rakuten Furima”(“Furima” comes from “fleamarket”) and “bidders”, which is served by DeNA (DeNA also owns “Mobage-Town“, the biggest cellular phone SNS).

On cellular phone web, “Mobaoku” (which stands for Mobile Auction) coworks with KDDI/au, “Rakuten Auction” affiliated with NTT Docomo, are two popular sites.

See also:

  1. Yahoo! Japan Press Release [pdf]