Asia's ecommerce giant Qoo10 acquires S. Korean online shopping platform for second time

By Park Sae-jin Posted : April 7, 2023, 17:00 Updated : April 7, 2023, 17:00

Qoo10 CEO Ku Young-bae [Courtesy of Qoo10]

SEOUL -- Qoo10, jointly founded by online shopping mall GMarket founder Ku Young-bae and eBay, an American ecommerce giant, has acquired Wemakeprice, a South Korean ecommerce unicorn, in a bid to strengthen its influence in the Asian ecommerce market. This is the third time Qoo10 acquiring South Korean ecommerce companies after Tmon and Interpark.
Headquartered in Singapore, Qoo10 recorded annual sales of about one trillion won in 2016, thanks to its popularity in Southeast Asian countries, Japan, and South Korea. Details of the companies' sales record are not disclosed but market experts predict that the ecommerce giant is growing at an annual average growth rate of some 30 percent. In South Korea, Qoo10 is preferred by online shoppers who favor purchasing products directly from foreign shopping platforms.
South Korea's ecommerce market thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were grounded and avoided shopping at offline stores to prevent the spread of the infectious disease. The ecommerce market that stood at about 211.8 trillion won in 2022 has top three players -- South Korea's web service giant Naver with a 17 percent market share, retail giant Shinsegae with a 15 percent market share, and Coupang, the South Korean counterpart of Amazon, with a 13 percent market share. Wemakeprice, Tmon, and Interpark had market shares of about four percent, three percent, and one percent, respectively.
Qoo10 said that the company acquired all management rights of Wemakeprice on April 5. Qoo10 forged an agreement to acquire the rights for the ecommerce company's mobile app and appointed Kim Hyo-jong, the former head of Wemakeprice's management support division head, as the new CEO.
According to Qoo10, the company will create synergy between Tmon, Interpark, and Wemakeprice by creating an organic bond between the South Korean ecommerce platforms. Qoo10 will harness global sellers to South Korean platforms and link 19 "Qxpress" logistics centers in 11 countries to offer customers a stable and reliable delivery service. New business opportunities will be given to South Korean sellers through a newly-created ecommerce ecosystem.
Through the acquisition of Wemakeprice, the Qoo10 alliance will have a total of about eight percent market share in South Korea's ecommerce industry.
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