Online auction giant eBay Inc. has opened a classifieds web site in the US, in direct competition to the well-established market-leading Cragislist.com.
The new service, called Kijiji (“village” in Swahili), pits eBay, based in San Jose, Calif., against a company it partly owns: Craigslist, the San Francisco-based company that manages classified ad sites for 300 cities, which attract 12 million new ad listings each month.
EBay bought a 25 percent stake in Craigslist in 2004. Kijiji has until now been available only in Europe, Asia and Canada.
Currently postings on Kijiji are free, as they are on Craigslist. The site covers 220 cities in all 50 states.
“This is going to be our classified ad play in the United States,” said an eBay spokesman, Hani Durzy. “We look at it as competition to Craigslist and other platforms. But we think there is room for competition.” Mr. Durzy said eBay was planning to keep its stake in Craigslist.