NTT DoCoMo and Rakuten Inc., the operator of Japan’s leading online shopping mall, will develop a mobile phone Internet auction system and begin operating it from autumn, company officials said. The system will allow customers to use cameras on their mobile phones to take photos of goods and put them up for auction. Users can also use the “Osaifu Keitai” (wallet phone) system to make payment for goods they buy. DoCoMo holds about a 40 percent stake in Rakuten Auction.
Rakuten Auction will allow individuals and businesses to use the new system to participate in Rakuten’s Internet auctions conducted on computers. Rakuten Auction, founded in December last year by splitting Rakuten’s auction division, will provide the service. Yahoo! Japan, a member of the Softbank group, operates the nation’s largest Internet auction service with annual sales of 35.9 billion yen in the business year that ended last March. Continue>>