Japan agency drops request for delay of Rakuten’s free shipping


  • Japan
  • Tuesday, 10 Mar 2020

The Japanese giant has been struggling against Amazon.com Inc after helping to pioneer online shopping in the country. — Bloomberg

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission dropped a request for the delay of Rakuten Inc’s plan for free shipping, following the e-commerce company’s decision to scale back the offer.

The JFTC, which oversees business practices in Japan, last month asked a Tokyo court to hold up the launch scheduled for March 18, saying the plans could unfairly disadvantage some of the sellers on Rakuten’s platform. The company responded on Friday by limiting the introduction to stores that have completed necessary preparations.

The Japanese giant has been struggling against Amazon.com Inc after helping to pioneer online shopping in the country. The shipping plan, designed to unify delivery among more than 50,000 sellers using the Rakuten platform, would have forced the merchants to shoulder costs on orders over 3,980 yen (RM161).

Rakuten cited labour shortages and supply chain disruptions related to the coronavirus outbreak for the change in the delivery plan rollout. The company said it still sees free shipping as a way to boost store revenue and that it plans to offer support to stores that are adversely affected, without giving further details.

Separately, Rakuten last week unveiled pricing for its wireless network slated to begin operations next month. The company’s single plan offers unlimited data for 2,980 yen (RM120) per month, less than half the comparable tariffs from rivals NTT Docomo Inc, KDDI Corp and SoftBank Corp. – Bloomberg

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