Tap that App: Rakuten – Japan's Answer to JD.com

By Bryan Grogan, June 8, 2018

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Tap That App is a monthly segment where we feature an app our editors think is cool. 

So you’ve heard of Alibaba, Amazon and eBay, but have you heard of Rakuten? 

According to Technode, this little-known Japanese e-commerce giant has become wildly popular in the Middle Kingdom, with Chinese customers spending JPY1 billion in 2016 alone on merchandise from the online supermarket. 

Thanks to partnerships with host supermarkets JD.com and Netease, Rakuten has finally managed to penetrate into China’s notoriously difficult e-commerce marketplace, after having pulled their store from Baidu in 2012.

What makes this application so appealing for English-speakers is the bright, clean and accessible interface, all laid out in easy to understand English. Taobao translation website Baopals is certainly a godsend, but it ain’t got nothing on Rakuten Global Market.

rakuten.jpg

Japan has rightly become renowned as a center for streetwear and clothing culture in recent years and mainstay fashion brands such as Supreme, A Bathing Ape and many more are widely available throughout the Rakuten App.

The wealth of clothing options stored throughout the Rakuten online supermarket will certainly appeal to many, but you can also find your favorite electronic gizmos, long sought-after make-up brands and even a wide variety of cup ‘a’ noodles.

Part of what makes Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba so unique is their brilliant financial tech innovation – Alipay. Rakuten itself is hitting headlines for financial ingenuity world wide, as the company recently revealed that it would start its own cryptocurrency – called Rakuten Coin –  though that will certainly not be available in China. 

Nonetheless, if you are in possession of a Union Pay card you needn’t worry about lack of access, Rakuten accepts all major credit cards as well as Paypal and Alipay.   

Rakuten Global Market is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Visit global.rakuten.com/en/ for more info. 

For more Tap that App, click here.

[Cover image via Wikimedia]

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