28 Jan '13, 12pm

Rakuten Opens Singapore Base, Eyes Southeast Asia Expansion

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten (JSD:4755) now has a regional headquarters situated at One George Road in Singapore. The new Singapore office is set to take charge of Rakuten’s Asia-Pacific operations including marketing and regional expansions. Aside from its native Japan, Rakuten has e-commerce operations in Taiwan , Malaysia , Thailand , and Indonesia . However, its China joint-venture with Baidu didn’t turn out to be successful . Rakuten’s head of Asia marketing, Shin Hasegawa, told me that Singapore was chosen because of its close proximity to other Southeast Asian countries, and access to talented people. Interestingly, Rakuten also chose Singapore as a base because it believes it is the gateway to interact with the region’s startups. Rakuten does invest in startups. Most prominently, it was the lead investor in Pinterest’s latest financing round . Like most of its...

Full article: http://www.techinasia.com/rakuten-singapore-southeast-asi...

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