Rakuten closes Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia

I buy things online nearly every week these days even if I still love to shop in malls. It’s so easy to start a new online company, right? I agree too. It’s however much harder to make it work when there are many competitions especially strong ones. Of course, sometimes it may also be due to changing business directions as per reported? Well, in many medias these few days, a famous Japanese online retailer called Rakuten would be closing its e-commerce marketplaces in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It said this is part of the company’s strategy overhaul.

With this closure, around 150 staffs would need to find new employments but I think they should do just fine. There are more new online companies these days anyway. Everyone is thinking of starting a start-up which may change the world and turn him into a multi-millionaire or even a billionaire. Rakuten said, “In SE Asia, as the market itself changes and adapts, we are looking toward C2C (customer to customer) and mobile business models for e-commerce and other businesses” It is competing with Lazada in Southeast Asia for the e-commerce segment. It will however be maintaining its regional Asian headquarters in Singapore and will continue to look for new opportunities for growth in Southeast Asia.

I think this is very healthy. Strong competition meant everyone becomes even stronger. Consumers gain the most since the best deals would win the business. Marketplaces become more established and even within these huge marketplaces, the retailers compete against one another. We no longer need to go to ten different websites to buy ten different things. We no longer need to compare that same product that we are about to buy by going to different websites because we could easily compare them within the same marketplace. Let’s hope Rakuten comes back even stronger in the future to challenge all the existing players.

written on 14 Feb 2016

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