China News, 5/10/10
Chinese B2C and C2C e-commerce company Taobao and Japan's Softbank, operator of Yahoo Japan, have announced a strategic partnership to mutually support one another's platforms beginning in early June.
Taobao will offer its users Japanese products in a Chinese-language channel called "Tao Japan." Yahoo Japan, meanwhile, will offer its users Chinese products in a Japanese-language channel called "China Mall." The two websites will share data so that Taobao products appear in Yahoo Japan's China Mall and vice versa.
Taobao said that third-party companies will provide information, translation and logistics services, so that Chinese and Japanese consumers will see product information in their own language, and be able to use their preferred purchasing and payment methods.
Executives for both companies confirmed that products must pass stringent requirements and meet both nations' laws and customs regulations, as well as paying necessary duties and tariffs. Foodstuffs and cosmetics cannot be exported to Japan presently.
Alibaba.com's (1688.HK) Japan site will be responsible for bringing together third-party international logistics firms to provide international shipping services, while logistics within China will be handled by another third-party Chinese shipping firm. Chinese and Japanese users will be able to ship goods using their current preferred shipping company. Third-party call center companies will provide translation services for calls between buyers and sellers, helping to facilitate communication.
Editor's Note: Alibaba CEO Jack Ma said that merchant fees and other details will be announced in June. Ma added that discussions regarding the partnership began a year ago to determine solutions to the technological, legal and logistical issues involved.