Rakuten opens up January 18, 2007Posted by fukumimi in Internet, IT, Japan.
Rakuten, the leading Japanese on-line shopping site, is to open up. (PR in Japanese)
It has launched a beta service of what it calls “Rakuten Web Service”, a set of APIs to access the Rakuten database which currently holds more than 10 million items. To start off, it has made 4 APIs available (shop inventory/auction inventory search API, category search API, product code search API and book inventory search API), and is promising to expand its API offerings to cover its DVD, CD, travel and electrical goods inventory by 2007 according to reports.
Finally, it seems the (mainstream) Japanese internet may be about to embrace a more open model.
The strategy would seem to fit well with Rakuten’s stated plans of going global. It may find it is easier to expand by linking up with local partners who can use the database but may need to provide different logistics and payment mechanisms and the like.