Monday, March 10, 2008

SK Telecom to open online marketplace in China

South Korea's SK Telecom Co <017670.ks> plans to open an online marketplace in China this year and is contacting Taobao and other Chinese e-commerce firms for possible partnership, an executive said on Wednesday.

SK Telecom, South Korea's top mobile operator, last week opened an customer-to-customer online shopping site, "11st" (, targeting the country's $17 billion e-commerce market, currently dominated by Yahoo -owned Gmarket and eBay Inc's local unit.

"We are aiming for more than 1 trillion won ($1.06 billion) in transaction value in 2009," Chong Nak-kyun, senior vice president of SK Telecom's commerce business, told Reuters in an interview.

"We will be able to start generating profits once transaction value reaches 1 trillion won, helped by gains from mobile payment and advertisements."

SK is contacting Chinese players such as Taobao, the online consumer auction arm of Alibaba's <>, and Tom Online's, Chong said.

($1=947.1 Won)

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