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Coupang raises membership fee, Amazon-style, in pivot to profit

SotfBank-backed e-commerce company narrows loss for 1st quarter

Coupang has a nationwide distribution network in South Korea. (Photo courtesy of the company)

SEOUL -- Coupang has become South Korea's leading e-commerce company by emulating Amazon's business model. Now as its lackluster stock price signals investor skepticism, the company is again turning to a tactic well-tested by the U.S. giant: raising membership fees to improve its earnings.

Coupang reported a consolidated operating loss of $205 million for the first quarter, an improvement from $267 million in red ink a year ago. Revenue jumped 22% to $5.11 billion.

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