RealTime IT News

China.com Goes on Buying Spree, Splits Stock

Friday was a busy day for Asian portal China.com Corp.

The company announced a 2-for-1 stock split, new acquisitions in Asia and lost its chief financial officer to a Japan-based Internet leader.

China.com's (CHINA) board of directors has approved a 2-for-1 stock split, which will be voted upon by shareholders on Dec. 6.

The announcement sent the stock soaring, hitting 119 (up 27 percent) in mid-morning trading. China.com's shares went skyrocketing up 75 percent on Tuesday on news of the China-US WTO deal.

China.com Friday purchased Netville Co, CLIC and A4 Communications in Korea, as well as Pandora Interactive Studio PTE Ltd in Singapore.

Terms of those deals were not announced. The company said the buys will drive its pan-Asia portal strategy.

Amid China.com's tremendous week in the market, it has lost its CFO David Kim to Asian Internet heavyweight Softbank. He will produce non-Japan SOFTBANK properties in Asia, raising funds for SOFTBANK's Asia properties, bringing the company's Asian properties to public markets.

Kim, who had joined Hong Kong-based China.com in 1998, led his previous employer through the first Chinese Internet IPO on the Nasdaq and left the company on friendly terms. China.com's COO Peter Hamilton will assume the additional role until a new CFO is appointed.

"This team is effectively executing its unique business strategy across the Asian region and the evidence of this can be found in our recent financial results which show revenues growing well ahead of expectations," said Peter Yip, China.com's CEO. "It is for reasons such as this that we are ideally placed to capitalize on the wealth of opportunities that the Internet presents in China and the rest of Asia."

The company previously announced that it expects to see profit by 2002 or 2003.

China.com had an explosive IPO on the Nasdaq on July 14, only to watch most of its gains fall back after the Chinese government announced a ban on foreign investments in the Internet sector. While most analysts have been wary of China's tenuous relationship with the Net, traders and analysts alike were encouraged by the WTO deal and led the stampede back to China investments.