ITOCHU Announces Establishment of Cross-Border EC Management Company SAKURA Links, Inc. and Cross-Border EC Business Collaboration for CITIC Holdings Co., Ltd. and Chinese Affluent Segment

March 16, 2017

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it would begin operating a cross-border EC website that it has developed jointly with CITIC Group Corporation (headquartered in Beijing, China; Chang Zhenming, Chairman; hereinafter “CITIC”). In addition, in December 2016 ITOCHU founded SAKURA Links, Inc. as its wholly owned subsidiary to manage the website. ITOCHU focuses on the area of cross-border EC and will expand this area as a new activity.

The cross-border e-commerce (EC) market for China from Japan is expected to grow to 127 billion yuan (2,104.4 billion yen) by 2019, with further expectations for market growth. ITOCHU will begin selling Japanese local, high-quality, safe and reassuring materials to China through a Chinese EC platform managed by CITIC. ITOCHU plans to form alliances with retailers with strength in the individual local markets. ITOCHU will commence sales tests in March 2017 and will launch official sales on a step-by-step basis in the fiscal second quarter 2017. ITOCHU will commence campaigns in the Kansai region through an alliance with Hankyu Department Store and in the Kyushu region through an alliance with JR Hakata City, and will expand into Okinawa, Hokkaido, Tohoku and Shikoku, and elsewhere. In addition, ITOCHU will prepare more than 3,000 items of processed foods for materials in commencing the sales tests and will gradually expand the product categories into cosmetics and apparel products, etc. after the launch of official sales.

In addition, ITOCHU will introduce new services for responding to value-based consumption by highlighting the spirit of hospitality for which Japan is known worldwide, along with the strengths of safety and security, selling materials with the aim of creating an incomparable cross-border EC website.

Overview of SAKURA Links, Inc.

Company name SAKURA Links, Inc.
Head Office 2-5-1 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8077, Japan
Founded December 2016
Representative Kensuke Hosomi
Area of business Management of a cross-border EC platform