eBay boosts its Japanese business with an acquisition

eBay is ramping up its presence in Japan via its latest investment in Asia.

The U.S. online retail giant announced today that it has acquired the Japan-based business of pan-Asia e-commerce company Giosis, which is called Qoo10.jp, in an undisclosed deal.

eBay originally set up Singapore-based Giosis in 2010 alongside Korea’s Gmarket, and as part of today’s deal it will give up its equity in the Giosis business outside of Japan. In particular, that refers to Giosis’ network of e-commerce sites that cover Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and China. Giosis raised $82.1 million from Singapore Press Holdings and others back in 2015.

Elsewhere in Asia, eBay invested in India’s Amazon rival Flipkart last year as part of a $1.4 billion funding round that saw Flipkart take over the local eBay India business. That deal represented a pivot as such since eBay had originally placed its India bet on Snapdeal, which massively scaled back its operations last year after rejected a potential acquisition by Flipkart.

eBay had an unsuccessful effort in China which ended in 2006.

Japan has been a relative ray of sunshine compared to other parts of Asia. While it doesn’t provide local customer figures, the company said it enables “thousands of Japanese businesses” to sell products to the 170 million active buyers that it claims worldwide. The Qoo10.jp looks like an effort to grow a business that sells to customers inside Japan. eBay said that Qoo10.jp has around two million. That’s a fairly significant number, but it is some way short of Rakuten, which dominates the Japanese e-commerce space with nearly 90 million registered shoppers.

Beyond online retail, Rakuten also offers banking and financial services to help raise engagement with customers.