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Rakuten to chase Airbnb with turnkey service for landlords

Japanese e-commerce giant also teams with foreign home-rental companies

The home-rental support service will be provided by Rakuten Lifull Stay, a joint venture of Rakuten and Lifull.

TOKYO -- Rakuten will capitalize on the home-rental trend with a comprehensive support service for property owners, looking to distinguish itself from the more established Airbnb in a growing market set to emerge from a legal gray area.

The Rakuten Stay service announced Wednesday intends to serve as a one-stop shop for landlords looking to rent space to travelers, a practice known as minpaku in Japan. It will offer consulting on rates and property renovation, handle booking, restock toiletries and other essentials and even handle cleaning. Participating properties can be marketed under the Rakuten Stay brand.

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