TOKYO -- Rakuten, the big Japanese e-commerce company, has begun negotiations to sell its Thai shopping portal. Rakuten in 2009 bought Tarad Dot Com, which it has been operating as Rakuten Tarad.com.
The Japanese e-commerce heavyweight also plans to refocus its online retail business in three other Southeast Asian countries. Roughly 150 jobs will be cut along the way.
Rakuten has struggled in Southeast Asia against competitors like Lazada of Germany and has concluded it cannot expect further growth in the region.
In Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, Rakuten has operated portals that allow shoppers to visit numerous virtual stores. It will now operate an e-commerce platform that connects smartphone users wishing to sell or buy used goods.
Rakuten also plans to exit from the online shopping portal business in Brazil and instead provide software to e-tail businesses in the country.