Online Mall Fends off E-commerce Giants

April 17, 2019

South Korean entrepreneur Ku Young Bae has built Singapore’s largest e-commerce company over the last decade while fending off global rivals such as Amazon, Alibaba and Tencent, reported by Bloomberg.

Ku now says distributed ledger technology (DLT) will help his online mall company, known as Qoo10, expand beyond his home and into the wider Southeast Asian region. To compete against larger rivals, he intends to bring the efficiency advantages of blockchain technology to the e-commerce space.

In January 2019, Qoo10 launched a separate market known as QuuBe, which used DLT and purportedly reduced the costs of running an online marketplace. This, in turn, allowed Ku to remove the fees he was charging merchants to sell their products on his site, thereby attracting more sellers.  

The e-commerce entrepreneur is also creating a blockchain-based payment system that he says will help attract new shoppers in a region where cash is still the primary mode of payment. The response has so far been positive, with over 5,000 merchants registering some 2.3 million products on the platform.

While previous attempts have been made to apply blockchain technology to e-commerce, Ku says Qoo10 is the first to try to “shift the paradigm and level the playing field,” citing what he believes to be a lack of radical innovation in the industry.

Blockchain essentially automates certain e-commerce transactions and processes that usually require personnel. The technology also enhances trust among participants, who can better trace transactions from beginning to end.

Ku believes this will give him the edge he needs to compete and to avoid getting mired in a costly war of monetary attrition with major conglomerates.


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