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Japan struggles to replicate China's 'live commerce' boom

Startup looks to crack market as major internet players shut down services

Japanese shoppers have been largely lukewarm toward the idea of live-streaming sales events. (Photo by Kei Higuchi) 

TOKYO -- Some of Japan's biggest e-commerce companies have shut down features that let sellers hawk their products online in real time, even though the "live commerce" trend has taken off in China.

Yahoo Japan, which runs a shopping site, announced in May that it will end its live commerce function by June, although it has since extended that deadline. Base, which helps users set up e-commerce sites, ended its live commerce service in March. Mercari, a popular marketplace for secondhand goods, shut down the function last year.

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