Coupang to up paid-user membership fee amid competition from Chinese rivals

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. said Friday it will raise its monthly membership fee for paid users by 58 percent, in an apparent move to secure further capital amid growing challenges from Chinese rivals. Coupang plans to charge its paid WOW membership users 7,890 won (US$5.7) starting Saturday, sharply up from the current 4,990 won, the company said in a statement. Previously, the monthly fee saw a 72 percent hike from 2,900 won in 2021. The number of WOW members stands at around 14 million as of the end of 2023. Coupang's new services, such as streaming platform Coupang Play and food delivery service Coupang Eats, has helped the company boost users in South Korea. But it faces challenges from Chinese e-commerce retail platforms -- PDD Holdings' Temu and Alibaba Group's AliExpress -- which are wooing customers away from Coupang through aggressive marketing. Coupang plans to invest 3 trillion won for the next three years to expand its renowned "rocket delivery" nationwide to cement its lead ing status in the competitive local delivery market. Source: Yonhap News Agency

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