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Rakuten considering Airbnb-like home rental service in Japan: sources

12
Sep
2014

By Teppei Kasai TOKYO (Reuters) – Rakuten Inc, Japans largest e-commerce company, has been actively considering launching a service like website Airbnb that would provide a hub to rent apartments and homes in Japan to short-term guests, two people with knowledge of the developing plans told Reuters. Rakuten has commissioned a detailed study in Japan of whether it could launch a short-term rental service that would be easier to use than Airbnb, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the project was confidential. If Rakuten decides to go ahead with the service, it could do so early next year, the people said. An online home rental marketplace would help Rakuten profit from a surge in the number of people visiting Japan, attracted by a weaker yen and an aggressive promotional campaign by the tourism authority.

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