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Taobao, Yahoo Japan set to form huge online partnership

China's largest online shopping platform, Taobao.com, and Yahoo Japan Corp will partner to launch two online platforms to allow vendors to sell in each other's markets in an effort to build the biggest online shopping marketplace in the world.

Taobao, a subsidiary of China's largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group, and Yahoo Japan will build a section respectively on their sites to provide users from the two countries eight million Japanese and 50 million Chinese product listings. The platforms will be online June 1.

This cooperation will bring 260 million users from the two companies together and let small businesses from China and Japan carry out reciprocal transactions, Masayoshi Son, chairman of Yahoo Japan, said at a news conference on Monday.

"When we join hands, we will be able to beat eBay and be the largest online shopping marketplace," said Son.

The tie-up is driven by Softbank Corp, which is a co-investor of Alibaba and Yahoo Japan with US Internet giant Yahoo Inc.

Taobao plans to carry out its overseas expansion in different countries in the future after the tie-up with Yahoo Japan, which is the first step in its overseas strategy, said Jack Ma, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group.

The site has been looking to move beyond the Chinese mainland over the past two years.

Its shopping channels, which introduced sellers from Taiwan and Hong Kong to the mainland, will go live in the near future.

The payment arm of Alibaba, Alipay.com Co Ltd, will also receive 5 billion yuan in investment from the group over the next five years to expand globally.

Taobao's cooperation with Yahoo Japan came after China's biggest search engine Baidu Inc announced in January a joint venture agreement with top Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc to launch an online shopping mall targeting the world's largest online population.

"Taobao's cooperation with Yahoo Japan can fend off challenges from Baidu to some extent, but the competition between the two will be bigger and bigger since they target similar sellers and users," said Cao Fei, an analyst with domestic research firm Analysys International.

According to the China Internet Network Information Center, transaction volume of China's online shopping market reached 250 billion yuan last year.