How tough is the competition in China e-commerce market? Just ask Rakuten. The Japanese e-commerce giant announced yesterday to close down China business Rakuten.cn with Baidu, a local search market dominator, a move also highlighting Baidu’s successive failure in stepping up its e-commerce effort following the shut-down of Youa Baidu’s approach to C2C in last May.

Rakuten.cn, or Lekutian in Mandarin, will be discontinued on April 27, according to the company’s announcement. Though Rakuten claimed that “following careful deliberation, both and Rakuten and Baidu determined that closing lekutian was in the best interest of all shareholders”, Baidu seems to be caught by surprise by the announcement, claiming the decision was made by the board of Rakuten. The two are now “hammering out the details on what to do following the decision.”

Rakuten ascribed the retreat to “Lekutian’s not-in-line-with-expectations performance in the face of intensified competition in the Chinese e-commerce industry”.

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Ben Jiang

Listener of startups, writer on tech. Maker of things, dreamer by choice.