E-commerce tie-up to target Korea

8848.net announced a formal partnership with South Korea's Space Incorporated with the hope the pair can maximise their resources to exploit and further the development of B2B e-commerce in Korea.

China's e-commerce leader is taking its business on the road by establishing its first foreign joint-venture partnership.

BEIJING (SCMP.com) - Yesterday, 8848.net announced a formal partnership with South Korea's Space Incorporated with the hope the pair can maximise their resources to exploit and further the development of business-to-business e-commerce in Korea.

Executives from both firms noted their respective governments' desire to enhance the annual US$25 billion Sino-Korean trade volume was a strong force in forming the partnership.

China is Korea's second-largest trading partner.

Neither company was willing to divulge the value of the partnership, nor would they say who held the dominant stake in the new company - Space8848Korea.

Space will help attract Korean businesses to utilise 8848.net's e-marketplace, while 8848.net will provide its partner with Korean-language online software and service support.

Space is a well-known IT enterprise in Korea, with several subsidiary businesses covering hardware production, high-speed VSDL network connection equipment, modems, Internet broadcasts and movies, and other communications equipment.

Many analysts have speculated 8848.net last month sold its business-to-consumer and shopping services for US$8 million to Shenzhen investment firm Wanchuanhe out of a desire to attract more venture capital and, hopefully, create a better chance for a Nasdaq listing.

Others suspect the split centered on strained personal relations between 8848.net chief executive Tan Zhi and the company's founder, Wang Juntao, who now heads the new My8848.net business.

Space chairman Seo Jang-taik denied there were any aspirations for listing Space8848Korea in the near future.

"We are not interested in a Nasdaq listing because of a lack of a value price," he said. "But who knows what the future will bring?"

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