e-commerce giant Rakuten is to become part of Japan’s home-sharing market as soon as legislation allowing private homes to be rented to paying travellers takes effect – likely to be by January 2018 – and is looking to enlist help from China’s Tujia to win more customers.

The Chinese make up around 25% of all foreign visitors to Japan, and will be able to access Rakuten’s listings through Tujia, the largest home-sharing platform in China, posing a threat to Airbnb’s 50,000 listings in Japan.

Rakuten has partnered with real estate website operator Lifull for this move, and will team up with other companies including HomeAway and Taiwan’s AsiaYo, which has more than 13,000 listings in Taiwan.

Japan’s home-sharing market is expected to grow to 200 billion yen ($1.78 billion) in 2020, up 140% over 2017’s estimate.

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