SEOUL -- South Korean customers can buy products from Amazon, an American technology company, through 11st, an e-commerce shopping website run by a subsidiary of SK Telecom. The mobile carrier said the tie-up is aimed at delivering a differentiated shopping experience.
SK Telecom (SKT) said that Amazon would have an investment right to acquire a minority interest in 11st through new preferred shares if certain conditions related to business performance or initial public offering are met. Details such as the amount of investment, an equity participation arrangement and the scope of cooperation were not disclosed.
"We will focus on creating synergies with Amazon in diverse ICT-related business areas including ecommerce to improve customer convenience and boost overall growth," SKT said in a statement on November 16.
As one of South Korea's largest online marketplaces, 11st is well-positioned to deliver a differentiated shopping experience, SKT said, adding that 11st and Amazon would share more details with customers when the service is ready to be launched.
The deal means Amazon will open an indirect sales channel through SKT's online shopping mall. "11st shares our customer obsession and is one of the leaders in the Korean ecommerce space," an unnamed Amazon spokesperson was quoted as saying. "Through this upcoming collaboration with 11st, Amazon looks forward to providing customers in Korea another way to shop Amazon products.”
SKT has accelerated the expansion of its partnership with global companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Uber. In December 2019, SKT joined hands with AWS (Amazon Web Services), a subsidiary of Amazon, to push for a joint project related to 5G-based mobile edge computing (MEC) that delivers low-latency networks to mobile and connected devices while improving data throughput, reliability, power efficiency and security.
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