eBay is making moves to improve its presence in Asia. They have confirmed that a new foray in India is on the cards and eBay Japan is set enjoy greater investment to help it grow. The moves in these two Asian countries that represent a real opportunity for growth but both offer challenging trading environments.
eBay divested its interest in Flipkart earlier this year when it was acquired by Walmart. India is a tantalising market because of its scale and an accelerating growth in online spending. The second most populous country on the planet and the world’s biggest democracy, is seeing rapid growth and enjoyed a buoyant festival season centred around diwali in November. Sadly, India is a hard nut to crack for western merchants and Amazon and Walmart are already slogging it out and both have plenty of resources and established brands.
I can confirm that we do have plans to re-open our eBay India site & we should have an update on this early next year. We would recommend keeping an eye on our announcement pages for further details.
– eBay employee
Devin Wenig has also been in Japan and has tweeted that about that:
— Devin Wenig (@devinwenig) November 27, 2018
eBay has had a poor previous performance in Japan. Now the Japaenese ecommerce landscape is dominated by Rakuten so it will be interesting to see what they will be doing this time around. In the previous incarnation of eBay Japan, it was a race with Yahoo at the turn of the century and it was the only market that eBay entered where it was persistently the second place player before eBay withdrew to direct energies elsewhere.
Trying to regain a new Asia toehold in both India and Japan is going to be a tall order. Japan has a dominating existing player that has deep pockets and Rakuten is remarkably popular. In India the struggle between Walmart and Amazon is titanic. So eBay will need to be innovative if it is to enjoy success.