October 4, 2005, 12:00 AM

Become.com targets Yahoo’s dominance in Japan

Search and comparison shopping site Become.com is partnering with Japan’s Transcosmos Corp., a provider of outsourced Internet information services, to compete with Yahoo and Google for Japan’s 70 million Internet users.

 

Search and comparison shopping site Become.com is partnering with Japan’s Transcosmos Corp., a provider of outsourced Internet information services, to compete with Yahoo and Google for Japan’s 70 million Internet users. “Our strategy is to expand our shopping search engine service into Asia, starting in Japan,” Become.com CEO and co-founder Michael Yang tells InternetRetailer.com.

With more than 80% of Japan’s Internet users shopping online, Become expects to take search engine market share away from market leader Yahoo as well as runner-up Google, Yang says. “We’ll be providing a unique comparison shopping service that Yahoo and Google don’t provide,” Yang says. “Japan has a lot of pent-up demand for comparison shopping.”

Become.com and Tokyo-based Transcosmos have formed a 50-50 joint venture, under which Become.com will provide its in-house-developed search and comparison shopping technology and expertise while Transcosmos provides local expertise for serving Japanese consumers and building partnerships with local merchants, Yang says. Become.com differentiates itself among search engines and comparison shopping services by using proprietary technology, including web crawlers and algorithms, that serve up research content along with shopping comparisons on searched-for products.

“We saw the need to seize the opportunity to move into Japan and to provide consumers there with the same unbiased reviews and information to help with their comparison shopping needs,” said Yeogirl Yun, co-founder, chairman and CTO of Become.com. “Transcosmos has a proven record of launching U.S.-based companies such as RealNetworks and DoubleClick into the Japanese market. We are excited to partner with them to bring Become to this new, fast-growing market.”

Transcosmos initially became associated with Yang and Yun in 1998, when they launched the MySimon search engine, which is now a part of CNET Networks Inc.

 

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