RealTime IT News

eBay Promotes Person-to-Person Trades to Asian Market

eBay Inc. Wednesday recruited some of the Asian Net world's star sites to market its newly launched person-to-person trading platform for the Asian market.

eBay has recruited chinadotcom, Sohu.com and ClubCiti to market the eBay Chinatown online trading community to Asian users. chinadotcom (CHINA) will promote the site to Asian users through its Greater China portal network, which currently has 2 million registered users. Sohu, also recently ranked by the Chinese government as one of the country's most popular Web sites. ClubCiti will also join the party.

The Asian culture site was developed as a marketplace for a cross-section of goods, according to eBay (EBAY), where users can find jade jewelry as easily as they can find consumer electronics.

eBay has also created new categories in the aim of wooing more traditionally-minded users, who shy away from spending money on used goods. The new sections include Asian treasures, Feng Shui, books, electronics, street bazaar, health and nutrition which incorporates aromatherapy and Chinese herbs, kids world, and the American galleria.

The companies will also collaborate to develop new ways to reach the Asian market.

"eBay Chinatown is our next step into the Asian marketplace and should provide an excellent online venue for anyone interested in trading Asian merchandise," said Susanna Kass, eBay's chief operating officer for international operations. "We hope that teaming up with chinadotcom will help us reach traders in Chinese communities across Asia, where we believe the online auction format has great potential."

eBay said it had aimed to launch the site in time for Chinese New Year, celebrated Feb. 5.

Chinadotcom officials expect the site will appeal to users through its "unprecedented access to merchandise from the other side of the globe."

"The online auction format is a new frontier for e-commerce in Asia," said Rudy Chan, chinadotcom's director of e-commerce, said. He added the new concept is expected to be a part of the e-commerce boom predicted by International Data Corp., which predicts a rise in revenues from US$2.2 billion last year to US$32 billion by 2003.

chinadotcom ranked ninth in the survey results announced by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) last week, while Sohu.com claimed the third spot. The same group reported that China now has 8.9 million Internet users.