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Hong Kong website to offer next-day delivery of Japanese fish

HONG KONG -- Consumers in Hong Kong will be able to buy seafood from Tokyo's Tsukiji Market online for next-day delivery, starting as early as mid-July.

     A set of products popular here, including tuna, scallops and horsehair crab, will sell for around 500 Hong Kong dollars ($65.69) through Hong Kong Television Network's HKTV Mall website. The site hopes to use the offerings to establish a unique presence in the e-commerce market. It initially aims to sell 100 sets a day.

     HKTV Mall does not need to pay high Hong Kong rents as department stores and supermarkets do, so it can offer fresh goods at affordable prices, according to HKTV Chairman Ricky Wong Wai Kay. Wong hopes to boost the site's image by selling quality products and also intends to expand the service by partnering with regional companies in Japan.

     Sets purchased before 10 p.m. will be packed at Tsukiji or at markets in Hokkaido the next morning and sent via air before being home-delivered in the evening.

      HKTV will also sell Japanese-made sweets by partnering with Singapore-based Takashimaya Transcosmos International Commerce. Japanese companies Takashimaya and transcosmos established the joint venture this past spring to act as a wholesaler to Asian e-commerce sites.

     HKTV actually centers its business on digital content distribution, having given up on television after being denied a broadcasting license. HKTV Mall was launched in February and now boasts around 1.4 million registered users -- about a fifth of Hong Kong's population. Japanese products constitute around 10% of the site's 16,000 or so offerings.

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