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Lessons for Masayoshi Son in Rakuten's failure to halt Amazon

Culture-specific niches the key to outflanking international behemoths

| Japan
Rakuten's logo on its headquarter building in Tokyo, pictured in February 2010: a path to recovery is not obvious. (Photo by Rie Ishii)

Stephen Givens is a corporate lawyer based in Tokyo.

Internet platform businesses like Google and Amazon, you would think, necessarily compete in a global market that spans national boundaries.

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