Rakuten Global Market will be ceasing operations from 1 June 2020, but the end of the cross-border marketplace site will not affect the local sites that the Japanese e-commerce platform operates around the world.

Consumers will still be able to shop from Rakuten through its Japan-based platform Rakuten Ichiba, as well as use its international delivery service Rakuten Global Express, while Rakuten Taiwan, Rakuten US, Rakuten France and Rakuten Germany will remain unaffected.

In a statement to Marketing, a spokesperson from Rakuten said the company has an extensive portfolio of global and local e-commerce and other online services that are constantly adapting and improving to cater to local customer needs and online shopping trends. 

"As we move to strengthen our local offerings with our own platforms and flagship store partners in Taiwan, China and other markets, we have also made the decision to discontinue the service previously offered as a global cross-border marketplace site."

Established in 2009, Rakuten Global Market allows shoppers to connect with merchants on Rakuten Ichiba, providing automatic translation, as well as payment and delivery solutions.

The move comes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt cross-border business operations with 94% of the Fortune 1000 seeing supply chain disruptions.

In addition, research by Kantar has found that localism is becoming a mainstream movement, with brands’ sourcing and production strategies becoming an increasingly important factor for mainstream shoppers: 42% of consumers say they now pay more attention to the origin of products.

Sourced from Rakuten Global Market, Marketing Interactive, Economic Times