Yahoo Japan Search, Auctions and Broadband
Living in Japan again has its perks, especially compared with my first stay in this beautiful country 4 years ago. First off, I understand the language and customs more so than before, although my Japanese still needs years of laboring. Second, I now have the freedom to spend more time conversing and experiencing Japan from outside of the English classroom, and have had a chance to discuss the Internet and search engines with some folks recently. When discussing search engines in particular, Yahoo seems to be on the tongue of more Japanese than Google, as Yahoo has done an interesting job of penetrating the Japanese market in more than just search.
Yahoo Japan is one of the most successful and popular Internet companies to expand from the states into a difficult market to break. However, as RCA (Victor), Crystal Geyser, KFC, Mister Donuts, and representatives from the record labels which produce Carpenters and ABBA albums; once being accepted, Japan is a strong and loyal market. Yahoo Broadband (known as Yahoo BB) is synonymous with the terms DSL or ADSL (as Google is synonymous with search in the US). Yahoo Shopping has taken great strides to offer their services over the preferred version of Japanese Internet – mobile iMode. Yahoo has also used the Japanese market to introduce blogs, earthquake info centers, and Japan’s largest online auction service.
Like its US counterpart, Yahoo Japan is also extremely profitable and posted strong quarterly earnings for the second quarter of 2005. Yahoo Japan’s earnings are centered around advertising revenue from Japan’s beverage, software, and housewares industries. But the largest earner for Yahoo Japan is its auction service, which has caught on strong in this consumer oriented market. I’m fairly intrigued as to why Yahoo is so hot in Japan and Google, MSN, and others seem to not have infiltrated the market. One reason may be because Yahoo Japan is locally based and Japanese run, not centralized in the US and managed from abroad. I’ll be trying to make some contacts here and will do a larger piece on this as I continue to cover search in Japan.