Softbank and Alibaba.com Create $20 Million Joint Venture in Japan

Alibaba.com and Softbank today announced formation of a joint venture company called Alibaba.com Japan. The total investment will be $20 million with Softbank accounting for 65 percent of the investment and Alibaba with the rest at 35 percent.

The new company will take over the operation of Alibaba.com’s existing Japanese-language website which connects small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Japan with buyers and suppliers around the world. According to the company, Japan has more than 4 million SMEs, which account for 25 percent of the country’s export value and 63 percent of its import value. Since 2006, China has surpassed the US to become Japan’s largest trading partner. Alibaba.com Japan will promote trade between China and Japan, as well as help Japanese businesses open up new trade channels worldwide.

Alibaba.com Japan has more than 1 million product listings and over 75,000 members. Alibaba.com soft-launched its upgraded Japanese website in December 2007. The joint venture’s management will consist of CEO Makoto Kouyama, COO Sun Jiong, Director Satoshi Okada, Director Masayoshi Son, and Director David Wei who is Alibaba.com’s CEO.

This story has been provided by our research partner Pearl Research.