SAN JOSE, California: Muscular beachboy bully eBbay is kicking sand in the face of 90-pound weakling Craigslist - a network of US online urban communities featuring free classified ads and forums.

Aiming to muscle-in on this lucrative patch, eBay has launched a stateside version of Kijiji, a classifieds site it launched overseas in February 2005.

Previously available only in Canada plus certain European and Asian countries, the site has now powered into the US in 220 cities in all fifty states.

Admits eBay spokesman Hani Durzy: "We look at Kijiji as being competitive with Craigslist as well as the other classified platforms in the US."

eBay's portfolio also includes other international classified ad sites, among them in the Netherlands, Loquo in Spain and Gumtree in England, Australia and New Zealand.

Any or all of which, says Durzy, could also expand into the US.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff