Japanese online retailer Rakuten will shut down marketplaces in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, which will put 150 people out of a job. Rakuten's new strategy is the main reason for these closures.
Battle against Rocket Internet
Rakuten's Southeast Asian focus will be on C2C marketplaces (Customer-to-customer), while the markets that will shut down are B2B2C (Business-to-business-to-customer), which combines both the business-to-business and business-to-customer models.
Its new regional strategy should help it compete with Lazada, part of German Rocket Internet's imperium online.
Its Singapore main office will not be hampered by these closures and neither will Rakuten's other regional activities (Rakuten Travel, Viber, Kobo, Rakuten Institute of Technology and Rakuten Ventures) be impacted. Despite the closures, Rakuten will continue to explore possible regional growth opportunities.