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China.com Shares Rise 75 Percent on US-China WTO Pact

Nasdaq shares in China.com Corp. rose 75 percent on the news that China and the United States had signed a World Trade Organization trade pact.

China.com (CHINA), which operates Chinese Internet portals, an Internet advertising business, and a Web solutions business, opened at $63 3/4 per share and rose as high as $117 1/2 per share before closing at 101 3/16.

In the last few months, China.com shares have been volatile because of frequent declarations by Chinese officials concerning a ban foreign investment in the Internet. Some analysts are saying that, with the US-China WTO deal, this will no longer be an issue.

Reports have indicated that U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky has in fact commented that the deal would make it no longer an issue.

Part of the deal with China included permitting foreign companies to hold 49 percent in telecom joint ventures and 50 percent over two years. However, whether the pact will mean China will also officially permit foreign companies to invest in domestic Internet publishers and content providers remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, Hong Kong technology stocks surged on the news. The top performers were telco's China Telecom (Hong Kong) Ltd, Cable & Wireless HKT, Hutchison Telecom, Yahoo! China partner Founder (Hong Kong) Ltd, Sina.com share holder Stone Electronic Technology Ltd, and the largest shareholder in China.com, New World Infrastructure.



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