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Sina.com Closes $60 Million with Dell as Lead Investor

Greater China's largest Internet portal Sina.com announced on Monday that it had closed a US$60 million round of investment that included Dell Computer Corp. as a lead investor.

Other prominent investors included Creative Technology Ltd, Pacific Century CyberWorks Limited, Softbank Corp., Sumitomo Corporation, Trend Micro and United Overseas Bank (UOB) of Singapore and the venture capital funds it manages.

"China is the fastest growing major computer market in the world and, therefore, very important to Dell," said David Chan, president, Dell China. "Dell believes in solutions that improve the customer experience, and SINA. com is making great strides in this area with technology that localizes and simplifies the Internet experience for Chinese computer users."

Previous investors in Sina, Crosslink Technology Partners, Crystal Internet Venture Fund, Economic Development Board of Singapore, Goldman Sachs Group, and Walden International Investment Group, also took part in this round of financing. These led the previous round of investment in Sina in May which raised US$25 million.

Zhidong Wang, president and Sina's CEO added that the proceeds from this second major round of funding will support activities that further the portal's avowed mission to provide high quality content and services to Chinese language users globally.

Yoshitaka Kitao, executive vice president and CFO of Softbank Corp., joined Sina's board of directors.

Sina.com's network currently includes four portals: Sina.com.cn for China, Sina.com.tw for Taiwan, Sina.com.hk for Hong Kong, and Sina.com for the overseas Chinese community worldwide.

It has been widely reported that Sina will soon list on NASDAQ in the United States, some sources indicate that the company will do so before the end of the year.

In September, the Greater China portal claimed to have over 1 million registered users and 200 million page views per month. In June, Sina's China portal was ranked as the number one site in China by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), beating out Yahoo! and local top players Netease and Sohu.

However, the company has recently experienced staff difficulties with many top officials leaving including its CTO to China.com.