eBay to close China site, Tom to take over

eBay leaves Chinese market after failing to gain significant market share

EBay will close its China site and begin a relationship with Tom Online to create a replacement, news reports indicated Tuesday.

After failing to gain significant market share in China's consumer auction market, eBay will join Tom.com in creating a Tom.com-operated site in its stead, The Wall Street Journal said.

Attempts to reach both companies for comment were immediately unsuccesful.

Rumors have been circulating for months that eBay was preparing to exit the China market, but were readily denied by the company. EBay bought Chinese auction site Eachnet in 2003 for US$150 million. Eachnet was founded in Shanghai in the late 1990s by local entrepreneur Shao Yibo, and its Chinese name, "Yi Qu," still represents the site in China.

Alibaba.com Corp.'s TaoBao site leads the consumer auction market, with the company claiming 30 million registered users and as much as 70 percent market share.

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