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Itochu, Citic make e-commerce exclusive for China's wealthy

Website members are assured high-priced offerings are genuine

TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Itochu and China's Citic group will sell Japanese foods and other goods to wealthy Chinese customers through a members-only shopping site, connecting retailers in this country to a lucrative, fast-growing market.

The website begins a trial run Thursday, catering to the Citic group's estimated 10 million wealthy customers and business partners. The state-owned conglomerate includes Citic Securities, China's leading brokerage, as well as the country's seventh-largest bank. Customers at these institutions can already purchase financial products and real estate through a members-only site. Those in good standing will be invited to join the new site as well.

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