Tech & Innovation

  • Blog
    Rakuten Drone has trialed a new service delivering groceries directly from a mainland supermarket to the remote island of Masaki.

    Rakuten trials autonomous drone delivery to remote island residents

    Since making its first pioneering delivery on a golf course outside of Tokyo in April 2016, Rakuten has been at the forefront of drone delivery innovation. The Rakuten Drone UGV team continues to break new ground — both on land and in the air — with tests and trial services across Japan. The technological advances achieved in this field also have the potential to address a broad range of social ne…

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  • Blog
    Mobile Pioneers at Rakuten: In conversation with Zein Badaro

    From art college to telecom: In conversation with Rakuten Mobile’s Zein Badaro

    This article is part of a series of interviews with Rakuten Mobile employees. In this edition, we speak with Zein Badaro, who works in Rakuten Mobile’s International Roaming Department. A 22-year-old graduate of the University of Edinburgh College of Art, she relates her experience beginning a career at Rakuten. Zein and the Rakuten Mobile team recently launched the world’s first end-to-end c…

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  • Blog
    We look back on eight years of C2C trends and innovation that have made Rakuma one of Japan’s favorite C2C marketplaces.

    A C2C revolution: Eight years of Rakuma

    The humble web auction was a staple of the early days of e-commerce. But as online shopping hit the mainstream and the marketplace model took center stage, auction sites began to fall out of fashion. But a question remained: What do you do with all the stuff you’ve bought after you no longer need it? In the early 2010s, this question was answered in a uniquely modern way: with a smartphone app. Ei…

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  • Blog
    At an event commemorating the grand opening of a new flagship store in downtown Tokyo, Rakuten Mobile announced the expansion of its Free Supporter Program to up to an additional 20,000 participants.

    Rakuten Mobile makes waves at new flagship store launch: Expands Free Supporter Program to 20,000 new participants

    Today marks another milestone in the roll-out of the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network. At an event commemorating the grand opening of a new flagship store in downtown Tokyo, Rakuten Mobile announced the expansion of its Free Supporter Program to up to an additional 20,000 participants. Already offering voice and data services free of charge to approximately 5,…

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  • Blog
    Rakuten IT School NEXT: Hope for the coming generations. These high schoolers are working to transform their communities.

    Meet the high schoolers solving rural Japan’s demographic challenges

    How can rural Japan conquer the challenges of an aging population, low birth rates and a mass exodus of young people to big cities? That’s exactly what students from 10 rural Japanese schools set out to address with the second annual Rakuten IT School NEXT. Volunteer Rakuten employees made the journey out to the 10 locations around the country in mid-2019, holding three-day summer workshops to kic…

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  • Blog
    How has software development become like a peanut-filled chocolate bar? Because people are the peanuts and automation is the chocolate, according to Kohsuke Kawaguchi, known as the creator of Jenkins, a free and open-source software automation project that’s looking to boost productivity.

    Cloudbees’ Kohsuke Kawaguchi is future-proofing software development

    How has software development become like a peanut-filled chocolate bar? People are the peanuts and automation is the chocolate, according to Kohsuke Kawaguchi, known as the creator of Jenkins, a free and open-source software automation project that’s looking to boost productivity. Kawaguchi recently spoke about the role of open-source tools in software development at the Rakuten Technology Confere…

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  • Blog
    A world-first. No playbook. No cheat codes. Rakuten Mobile's Rahul Atri is taking the telecom industry somewhere it’s never been.

    Rewriting the playbook: In conversation with Rakuten Mobile’s Rahul Atri

    This article is part of a series of interviews with Rakuten Mobile employees. In this edition, we speak with Rahul Atri, who manages Rakuten Mobile’s Automation CoE (Center of Excellence) Department. His team is responsible for innovation and automating a range of tasks that are traditionally done manually, while also designing and planning ahead for Rakuten Mobile’s future 5G architecture. Rahul…

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  • Blog
    At Rakuten, we have continued to innovate across our 70-plus businesses around the world, from online shopping and drone delivery, to fintech, sports and our pioneering Englishnization program. But as eternal optimists (rakuten means “optimism” in Japanese) we’re confident the best is yet to come. Here are five transformative tech trends we expect to see as we enter the ’20s.

    A decade of disruption: 5 tech storylines set to define 2020 and beyond

    Once again, the past decade was all about disruption powered by technology. AirBnB, Uber and Lyft ushered in the era of the sharing economy; Netflix flipped the film and television industry on its head; while Google and Tesla made sci-fi dreams a reality with advances in self-driving cars. At Rakuten, we have continued to lead on innovation around the world, from online shopping and drone delivery…

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  • Blog
    this year’s ‘Hit Banzuke’ list from Rakuten offers unique insights into the comings and goings of consumer culture in Japan.

    ASMR, sustainability and the ‘chill revolution’ — Japan’s consumer trends for 2019

    Each year, Rakuten Ichiba’s consumer insights guru, Jun Shimizu (aka the Trend Hunter), sifts through mountains of e-commerce data to identify Japan’s most significant shopping trends. As always, this year’s ‘Hit Banzuke’ list offers unique insights into the comings and goings of consumer culture in the land of the rising sun. Beat the tax hike! Japan’s long-delayed second consumption tax hike, wh…

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