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Rakuten clinches No. 2 slot among Japan's portal sites: survey.

TOKYO, July 25 Kyodo

Rakuten Inc., operator of Japan's biggest online shopping site Rakuten Ichiba, has clinched the No. 2 spot among Japanese-language Internet portal sites, a research agency on Net-related businesses said in a survey Friday.

Rakuten has kept the No. 2 position after overtaking Nifty Corp. last December, said NetRatings Japan, a subsidiary of NetRatings Inc. of the United States.

The monthly survey covered criteria such as the frequency of hits by Internet surfers and the number of visitors to portal sites.

Rakuten is set to absorb its search-engine subsidiaries Infoseek Japan K.K. and Lycos Japan Inc. on Sept. 1 and combine them under the Infoseek brand in an effort to expand the scope of its Net-based services.

In June this year, the Rakuten site had 14.95 million visitors compared with 21.56 million visitors to the site of the No. 1 portal Yahoo Japan Corp.

Rakuten placed ninth in the NetRatings poll in 2001 and fourth in 2002.

NetRatings surveyed major Japanese-language portal sites such as @Nifty of Nifty Corp., MSN of the Microsoft Corp. Group and BIGLOBE of NEC Corp., in addition to Yahoo Japan and Rakuten.

NetRatings President Masashi Hagiwara said, ''Yahoo has an advantage over others in that it is skilled in enticing Internet beginners into its fold.''

''What will be crucial down the track is how Rakuten will be able to win over the hearts of Net novices,'' he said.
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Comment:Rakuten clinches No. 2 slot among Japan's portal sites: survey.
Publication:Japan Computer Industry Scan
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jul 28, 2003
Words:239
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