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International Briefs

CMGI, Sumitomo In Tie-Up For Japanese Internet Advertising Network
CMG Information Services and Sumitomo Corporation of Japan announced an alliance to tap into Japan's burgeoning Internet marketplace via services including interactive advertising and direct marketing.

CMGI's brands include Planet Direct, ADSmart, Engage Technologies, Lycos, and GeoCities. Sumitomo, the ninth largest global corporation with revenues of approximately $125 billion, is the leading investor in Japan's top ISP, Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ), and is a cofounder and part owner of the Asian Internet Holding company.

"This collaboration marks a significant first step in expanding CMG's affiliate businesses into the Asian interactive marketplace," said David Wetherell, CEO of CMGI. "We believe this alliance will create a powerful marriage of infrastructure and content serving the Asian Internet community," said Isao Momota of Sumitomo.

(Web Vision, India; February 20, 1998)

CEOs At World Economic Forum Highlight Role Of Electronic Commerce
Nearly 80 percent of surveyed CEOs in North America, Asia, and Europe believe electronic commerce will reshape competition in their industries, according to a Price Waterhouse/World Economic Forum survey.

Twenty percent of those surveyed think electronic commerce will completely reshape how they do business, while 59 percent say it will lead to a significant change.

Price Waterhouse CEO James J. Schiro gave the results in a presentation to the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Survey participants included 377 CEOs from among the world's largest 2000 companies. Three-quarters of CEOs reported that their companies always or frequently use the Net internally and internationally.

(Web Vision, India; February 20, 1998)

America Online In Partnership For Online Service In Hong Kong
America Online announced a new partnership with the China Internet Corporation (owned by China's official Xinhua News Agency) to provide online services in Hong Kong.

AOL already has a foothold in Australia and Japan. Hong King, a city of 6.4 million people, has an estimated 300,000 to 600,000 Internet users, with the number expected to grow to 1 million by the year 2000.

AOL's Hong Kong service will be built around its U.S. service, but will be tailored to Hong Kong consumers by providing additional original local content in English and Chinese. The service is expected to be launched within a year.

(Associated Press; February 10, 1998)

Australian Information Economist Urges Companies To Harness E-Commerce
Australia's National Office of the Information Economy now has a top executive: Paul Twomey, the executive general manager of Europe for Austrade and a former McKinsey consultant.

Twomey said the online revolution of the late 20th century was like the "railway revolution" of the mid-19th century in newly industrialising England. He urged CEOs of Australian businesses to focus on the issues of e-commerce for an upcoming summit in April.

(Sydney Morning Herald; February 10, 1998)

Free Indian Language Software To Be Distributed Via Web
India's Department of Electroncis (DoE) announced the online availability of free software for Indian languages as part of a national initiative to promote information technology and local content in Indian languages.

Users will be able to download Indian-language word processors from the Web site of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) based in Pune. Stressing the need for computer education in Indian languages, V. P. Bhatkar, executive director of C-DAC, said HTML standards, Internet browsers, and e-mail technology for Indian languages should be developed.

The National Centre for Software Technology (NCST) in Mumbai is working on software to translate English news stories to Hindi, which could be used by news agencies and Hindi newspapers.

(Business Standard; February 10, 1998)

Web Sites Provide Useful News, Resources In Black History Month
February is Black History Month in the U.S. "Over the last couple of years, the visibility of sites about the month has greatly increased," said Joel Dreyfuss, former editor of Our World News.

Useful sites in this regard include Netnoir, Martin Luther King Jr. papers at Stanford, Afro-Americ@'s Black History Museum, Encyclopaedia Britannica's Guide to Black History, Carter G. Woodson, NAACP, W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Black Voices.

(New York Times; February 9, 1998)

Singapore Web-based Trade Service Gets Deals For Local Companies
"Compared with the traditional ways of doing business with letters, faxes and long-distance calls, the Internet can save time and money," says Ronald Chew, CEO of Singapore-based Sitra Wood Products.

Thanks to the online trading service Singapore Connect, Chew recently secured business deals in the Middle East and Eastern Europe worth $250,00 via the Net.

A growing number of local companies are finding the Net to be an effective way to get business information and make contact with potential partners abroad.

SingaporeConnect is a national project jointly run by newspaper group Singapore Press Holdings and three government agencies--Productivity and Standards Board (PSB), National Computer Board (NCB), and Trade Development Board (TDB). Chew received his contacts via posts on the "Looking for Foreign Partners" bulletin board.

(Singapore Business Times; February 9, 1998)

Internet Forum Seeks To Boost Ties Between Asia, European Union
"The Eurasia Cyberforum seeks to strengthen EU-Asian relations," according to Raymond Le Ruyet, manager of the first Internet-based forum dedicated to boost European Union-Asian ties.

It is an initiative of the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS), a Brussels-based think-tank. It aims to offer updated information on EU-Asia relations, and facilitate exchanges between specialists in various sectors. There is also online discussion on business and education.

The Cyberforum has participated in the recent seminar on the impact of the Asian currency crisis on European Monetary Union and economic growth.

(Straits Times, Singapore; February 9, 1998)

Search Engines Emerge For Arab-Related Content On The Web
Arabia On Line, a pioneer in the field of Arab-related Internet information, has developed a search engine called Arabia Web, which trawls the Internet for sites about the Arab world.

Another company, Arabist, is also developing a search engine called "Arabist Search Engine."

(The Star, Jordan; January 28, 1997)