ITOCHU Announces Strategic Business Investment in Inagora Co., Limited for Cross-Border E-Commerce Business in China

November 22, 2017

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it will make a strategic investment in Inagora Co., Limited (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Weng Yongbiao, President & CEO; hereinafter “Inagora”), the core business of which is a cross-border e-commerce business for China, as an equity method affiliate through the third-party allocation of shares, etc. to facilitate entry into the cross-border e-commerce business.

The e-commerce market in China has grown to become the largest in the world, driven by the enhanced development of infrastructure for informatization and the extensive government support of the development of industry. The cross-border e-commerce market for consumers in China is expected to grow to about 4 trillion yen in 2020. However consumers face issues such as the distribution of counterfeit products and poor-quality goods, and sellers have difficulty handling payment, distribution, language, marketing, and other aspects. Therefore, a system for more smoothly and safely linking consumers and sellers is required.

Inagora started its cross-border e-commerce business earlier than other companies in 2015, operating sites in Japan and China and having the advantage of being able to provide an integrated service from merchandise procurement to the introduction of companies and products, payment, distribution, and marketing, including expansion of the merchandise lineup, development of logistics network and system, and promotion suitable for local needs in China.
Merchandise covers 2,600 brands and more than 40,000 SKU, mainly in health and beauty goods and daily commodities. In addition to the B2C business in which goods made in Japan are sold to users in China via an app for smartphones, Inagora has grown the B2B business in which products are provided via leading e-commerce malls, key opinion leaders and social media exclusive to China, and the inbound business for tourists and visitors on business from China has also grown.

Through this strategic investment in the business of Inagora, ITOCHU will utilize the e-commerce platform for full-scale entry into the cross-border market between China and Japan. ITOCHU utilizes its own and group companies’ commodities and solutions, eying the deployment in regions (such as Southeast Asia) other than China, accelerating the growth of Inagora and also increasing transactions for the cross-border e-commerce market.

Profile of Inagora Co., Limited

Company name Inagora Co., Limited
Foundation 2014
Representative President and CEO Weng Yongbiao
Business description Development/operation of cross-border e-commerce platform