The Business Times

Japan Post Holdings, Rakuten to form capital alliance

Published Fri, Mar 12, 2021 · 02:35 PM

[TOKYO] Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten will form a capital alliance with postal and banking giant Japan Post Holdings, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

The tie-up that could sharpen competition with the likes of Amazon.com. Representatives of both Rakuten and Japan Post Holdings declined to comment, with both saying the information wasn't something their firms had announced.

Shares of both Rakuten and Japan Post rose in afternoon trade in Tokyo after public broadcaster NHK first reported the tie-up.

It wasn't immediately clear what the alliance would entail, or how large it would be. Japan Post Holdings, a former state-owned utility that later privatised, has a market value of US$41 billion. It has a presence on almost all Japanese high streets.

Rakuten, a mobile phone company and online shopping mall, competes with Amazon in the world's third-largest economy, although it has far less of a global reach.

Last year it acquired a 20 per cent stake in Walmart's Japanese unit. It has had a partnership with the company, Seiyu, since 2018.

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