Tentatively-branded VacationStay, the rental site which is a joint venture between Japan’s e-commerce leader Rakuten and Trovit’s owner Lifull, stretched the reach of its audience for the third time with a partnership – even before its formal launch early next year. First, it partnered with a holiday rental site in the U.S., then it partnered with a Japanese holiday rental site and now with a Chinese holiday rental site.

These are all top sites in their geographies. VacationStay lists holiday accommodation in Japan.

Since its soft launch in July (we reported here), VacationStay has tied up with U.S.-based holiday rental site HomeAway to promote VacationStay’s Japanese property listings in 190 countries, and with lodges information site AsiaYo.com, which operates in Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea (we reported here).

Now, VacationStay formed an alliance with Beijing-based vacation rental service Tujia.com to attract inbound travelers and prospective short-term renters to Japan, according to a statement.

Under the agreement, Tokyo-based Rakuten Lifull Stay, Inc., a subsidiary of Rakuten Lifull Stay, jointly owned by Rakuten (51 percent) and Lifull (49 percent), will share Japanese property listings from VacationStay with Tujia. Tujia launched in 2011 and lists half a million properties from 70 countries.

Its aim is to aggregate 200,000 Japan-based vacation rental property listings by 2025 on its Japanese language site that went live earlier this year. Tujia Online Information Technology (Beijing) has offices in Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Rakuten Lifull Stay is awaiting a legal clearance to officially make VacationStay operational, which is expected after January 2018.

Citing official figures, Rakuten said the number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan surged 27.6 percent in its FY2016 to 6.4 million from its FY2015. Lifull Co. Ltd. also operates a real estate site called Lifull Home’s (at Homes.co.jp) in Japan with eight million listings.

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