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November 6, 2000

In the market for a 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn with one careful Japanese owner? Or perhaps a used 500-ton Liebherr Crane, a bargain at US$1.8 million? Well, anyone based in South Korea or looking to source goods from that country need look no further. is the country?s first business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce website to bring together buyers and sellers of surplus and used goods.
Overcapacity has plagued Asia for years. One of the key economic issues confronting China, for example, is how state-owned companies will match their enormous productive capacity with still-subdued consumer demand. The Asian industrial-surplus market is also fragmented. Sellers are often separated from their

market by several intermediaries, all of whom charge a commission.
Ten years in the Korean steel industry, hardly renowned for its sensitivity to market conditions, convinced SurplusGlobal?s chief executive and co-founder, Bruce Kim, that he could cut out these intermediaries. A single marketplace, he believed, would cut costs for buyers and enable sellers to dispose of more goods.
Since its launch at the end of June, SurplusGlobal has conducted 12 sales together worth US$2.3 million through a series of online multilingual and dual-currency auctions. Only 24 of Korea?s 200 or so B2B websites generate any revenue.
But Kim is not only interested in the domestic market. Merrill Lynch, a global investment bank and financial-services group, believes used and surplus goods in the Asia-Pacific region will be worth US$411 billion during 2000. SurplusGlobal?s website already lists 1,120 registered members in more than 81 countries and is aiming to handle US$50 million in transactions by the end of 2001. The company plans to enhance revenues next year through credit-rating services, inspections of goods for sale and logistics operations. Not all of these services will be online, however.
In SurplusGGlobal?s favor is its substantial management expertise in online services. After working in the steel industry, Kim managed Internet trade promotion for the Korean province of Chungnam. The company?s chief technology officer, Dmitri Jung, previously worked in B2B project management for eNet, a San Francisco-based software-solutions provider, and led ecommerce-systems development for Korea?s Dacom, a telecom subsidiary of the LG conglomerate.