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Sina.com Outplays Yahoo, Voted China's Top Site

Outdistancing Yahoo and other portals in China, Sina.com was voted China's top Internet site by a survey organized by www.consult, a Sydney-based Internet research company.

With around 15,000 Chinese Internet users participating, www.consult's second annual "China Internet User Survey" examined demographic and preference data in several categories.

In the preferred Internet destination category, Sina.com was chosen by approximately 30 percent of the respondents.

"This is quite an honor for us," said Jim Sha, CEO of Sina.com. "Being the top site and outdistancing our closest competitor by such a wide margin validates our approach in developing a leading online network."

"Throughout the Sina.com network, which spans China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States, Sina.com has established itself as the online equivalent of a town square where people gather to communicate electronically," added Sha.

Sina.com's network includes three sites, Sina.com, Sina.com.cn, Sina.com.tw; Sina.com.cn won the top spot on www.consult's survey with 4,330 respondents.

The other sites in the China Internet User Survey's top ten spots were:
2. www.yahoo.com (3144),
3. home.netease.com (2903),
4. www.sohu.com (2062),
5. gbchinese.yahoo.com (1602),
6. www.globallink.cn.net (1269),
7. www.163.net (1224),
8. www.online.sh.cn (898),
9. www.263.net (856), and
10. www.szonline.net (797).

NASDAQ bound China.com failed to make it into the top twenty places in this survey adding credence to critics' suggestions that the portal is lacking in performance.

In regard to general issues, the survey found that key concerns among China's Internet population included the development of accepted methods of payment for goods and services, customer service improvements, and the development of more native language sites.

Most respondents indicated that they prefer locally based Chinese Web sites to English language counterparts.

The average Internet user in China is a 27-year-old male, and 48 percent of all survey respondents were listed as professionals.

Two-thirds of survey respondents work in the information technology/telecommunications industries while the majority of respondents use the Internet to gather information or shop online.

www.consult is one the largest Asia-focused Internet research firms.