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Japanese E-commerce Firm Makes Chinese Rebate Investment

Japan-based Rakuten has taken a minority stake in Fanli.com, one of China's online rebate and rebate-based flash sale companies.

The C-series round values the Chinese online shopping company at approximately USD1 billion. As part of this investment, Kevin H. Johnson, CEO of Ebates, a Rakuten Group company, will join Fanli's board of directors. Rakuten's investment gives it less than a 10% stake.

Fanli is one of the largest rebate-based loyalty shopping programs in China and a pioneer in flash promotion service, a combination of cash back and flash sales for brands. Ebates, which operates Chinese cross-border loyalty shopping sites Ebates.cn and Extrabux.com, is one of the largest online shopper loyalty programs in the United States. Rakuten, which acquired Ebates in 2014, is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and is rapidly expanding its global market service and cross-border shopping capabilities.

Fanli is headquartered in Shanghai and claims over 70 million members.

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