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Taiwan's United Daily News Goes Online

The United Daily News, a major Taiwan newspaper, has launched its online news service.

Planning for udnnews.com began toward the end of 1997, and construction of the Web site commenced on October 16, 1998.

Much of the content of the Web site will be drawn from the eight newspapers which the United Daily News Group owns worldwide.

According to Yih Shing, general manager of Internet operations for the newspaper, the Web address purposely lacks a country suffix because the site aims to serve Chinese-speakers throughout the world. Yih believes that udnnews.com can, in time, become the biggest provider of Chinese-language information in the world.

Yih said that during the first year of operation the emphasis will be on attracting regular visitors and improving service and content quality. Only later will the online newspaper concern itself with boosting advertising revenue.

In a recent interview with The China Post, Duncan Wang Wen-shan, vice general manager of the United Daily News Group, said udnnews.com will be different from other online newspapers because it will be a comprehensive information service providing up-to-the-minute news, rather than the newspaper's articles simply transplanted onto the Net.

In addition to news articles, the Web site will feature online polls, reader comments and chat rooms.