After half a year of turmoil, Japanese e-commerce titan Rakuten (JSD:4755) has revealed today that its Rakuten Indonesia operations are now a wholly-owned subsidiary. The previous joint-venture with Indonesian conglomerate MNC began to fall apart in March of this year.
The new subsidiary is still called Rakuten Belanja Online, and the rakuten.co.id URL remains in place, so that customers and merchants on the e-commerce platform remain unaffected.
Ryota Inaba, the president director and CEO of Rakuten Belanja Online (RBO) says in today’s statement:
Today is momentous. It marks one of the most important milestones in Rakuten’s global expansion history. Since its establishment, RBO has done exceptionally well. In Q2 FY2013, RBO’s paid orders grew more than 257 percent year-on-year, mobile visits and orders grew more than 180 percent and 438 percent respectively.
It is due to such outstanding results that RBO has become one of Rakuten’s fastest growing businesses globally. This is why, with our merchants‘ support, we are acquiring full stake and furthering our plans for Indonesia.
The change actually came into effect on September 1.
New office and lots more new things
Reaffirming its commitment to Indonesia, Rakuten now has a new office in south Jakarta at an upper level of the new and fancy EightyEight @ Kasablanka (pictured).
In addition, RBO has rolled out a new ‘exposure management system’ for merchants to enhance their visibility on the site, and has “strengthened its employee training infrastructure.”
Plus, the e-store says it will courier more than 60 tons of goods per day to remote Wamena, in Indonesia’s Papua highlands, so that residents there can purchase things at reasonable prices and avoid what RBO says are the highly-inflated prices of daily necessities, which can lead to instant noodles costing more than double Jakarta’s prices.
This perhaps marks the end of a very rocky patch for the Japanese web giant in Indonesia, a fledgling but promising e-commerce market.
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)