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C&W HKT, Oracle Form China B2B Marketplace

Keeping up the pace of dealmaking in the face of its hand-off to Pacific Century CyberWorks, Cable & Wireless HKT and Oracle Corp. Tuesday formed a Web-based, China-targeted B2B alliance.

Oracle (ORCL) calls the project the first global multi-industry exchange, as well as the first for the Chinese audience. Commercial operations are expected to roll out in June.

The platform will be based on Oracle's template and will leverage complementary solutions from Cable & Wireless HKT. Cable & Wireless HKT Integrated ebusiness Solutions will also be part of the launch group, channeling its procurement process through the new marketplace.

Norman Yuen, deputy chief executive and chief financial officer of Cable & Wireless HKT, said the company will invest more than HK$400 million ($51 million) into the B2B venture over the next three years.

"Both Cable & Wireless HKT and Oracle share a progressive understanding of the magnitude and speed of change that ebusiness will have on this region," said P.W. Pong, regional managing director for Oracle's greater China region.

"We anticipate that the venture we are announcing today will transform the way Business-to-Business procurement is done in the Greater China region."

According to Gartner Group, B2B e-commerce transactions in the Asia/Pacific will be valued at $995.8 billion by 2004.



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