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eBay launches Thai auction site

US e-commerce firm partners with Sanook

Fewer than six months after reducing its commitment in China, eBay will make a new foray into Asia, this time in Thailand, the company said on Monday.

The auction company will join Thai portal Sanook Online to create a Thai-language e-commerce site, expected to launch in five to seven months, the companies said. They did not specify what type of e-commerce it will be in terms of fixed-price storefronts or online auctions.

EBay said the site will operate on a revenue-sharing basis, but did not specify the revenue split.

The auction company has had mixed results in Asia. In December last year, eBay announced it would move from ownership of its own site, eBay Eachnet, to a joint-venture arrangement with Tom Online, which now holds a 51 percent stake. The transition came after eBay Eachnet lost its lead as China's top auction site to rival Taobao.com, owned by Alibaba.com.

In June 2006, the company turned over its Taiwan operations to PC Home, and laid off most of its 40 employees. It had entered that market through the acquisition of a locally-based online auction company in 2002. EBay shuttered its Japan operations in 2002 after failing to gain traction or take market share from Yahoo Japan's auction site. It operates neither a stand-alone nor joint venture site there, where Yahoo continues to dominate.

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