Alibaba Sets Up JV With Softbank In Japan

Chinese e-commerce service provider Alibaba has announced plans to finally form a joint venture with Softbank Japan to fully take over the original Japanese language website of Alibaba.

Masayoshi Son, CEO of the SoftBank, first disclosed in November 2007 at the GSM Mobile Communications (Asia) Conference that SoftBank was negotiating with Alibaba. Sun said at the time that SoftBank will hold the majority of the new JV. Fast forward a few months, and now Softbank says its stake will be an investment of US$20 million for 65% of the business, and Alibaba takes the remaining 35%. Japan is the first online B2B global trading platform providing Japanese language and localized content for Japanese clients. It will first focus on importing from China and then gradually expand to Japanese exports and Japanese local market B2B trade.

At present, there are more than four million small and medium businesses in Japan, which account for 25% and 63%, respectively, of the country's export value and import value. In 2006, China surpassed the United States and became the largest trading partner for Japan.

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