Korean e-commerce firm Coupang to exit Japan market


South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang is ceasing its operations in Japan this month, less than two years after entering the market. The company started its operations in Japan in June 2021, and gained popularity during the pandemic with its grocery delivery services in the Tokyo area. However, the company recently announced that it would halt its services in Japan on March 21, citing a need to focus its resources on growth opportunities in Korea and Taiwan that they believe will generate more value for customers and stakeholders.

“We have decided to curtail our pilot in Japan which will allow Coupang to focus our resources on growth opportunities in Korea and Taiwan that we expect to generate more value for customers and stakeholders,” said the company in a statement.

It’s important to note that Japan is a highly competitive market, with strong local players like Rakuten and Amazon Japan. Coupang’s move to exit the market also comes at a time when the Japanese government has been increasing its scrutiny of foreign tech companies operating in the country.

Despite this, Coupang has continued to thrive in its home market of South Korea, where it holds a significant share of the e-commerce market. In fact, the company recently reported a 68% year-on-year increase in revenue for the final quarter of 2022, thanks in part to the popularity of its fast delivery services.

Coupang’s decision to exit Japan underscores the challenges that foreign tech companies face in entering and succeeding in new markets, especially in highly competitive markets like Japan. Nevertheless, the company’s continued success in its home market of South Korea shows that there are still ample opportunities for growth in the e-commerce space.

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