EBay Inc. (EBAY:US), owner of the world’s largest Internet marketplace, is looking to expand in China by teaming up with luxury retailer Xiu.com, according to a person with direct knowledge of the pact.
EBay will announce the partnership at an event on Nov. 12 in Shenzhen, China, where Xiu.com is based, said the person, who asked not to be named because the plans haven’t been publicly disclosed.
The pairing marks the first major drive by EBay Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe into the most populous country since he took over in 2008. He’ll face competition from sites such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Taobao.com, China’s largest online retailer. EBay retrenched in China in 2007, and highlighted the challenges of profiting in the nation in a January regulatory filing (EBAY:US).
“In 2002 we withdrew our EBay marketplace offering from the Japanese market, and in 2007 we contributed our business in China to a joint venture with a local Chinese company,” the company said in the filing. “Even if we are successful in developing new markets, we often expect the costs of operating new sites to exceed our net revenues from those sites for at least 12 months in most countries.”
EBay, based in San Jose, California, rose 2 percent to $49.22 at the close yesterday in New York. The shares had increased 62 percent this year before today. EBay doesn’t plan to make an investment in the Chinese company, according to the Financial Times, which previously reported the Xiu.com partnership.
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