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Netscape Reduces Presence In Asia, Australia

Consistent with its lackluster financial results and the regional economic downturn, Netscape Communications Corp. recently shut down its offices and laid off most of its employees in Hong Kong and Australia.

According to the South China Morning Post, the Australian operations will continue to be run from Netscape's Singapore office but it has not been determined how the company's Hong Kong and Chinese businesses will be managed.

In China and Hong Kong, Netscape has a continuing partnership with government controlled China Internet Corporation (CIC) that has led to the joint development of the Netcenter portal, Net Search, and the Chinese and English language versions of the Netscape Guide.

The Vice Chairman of CIC, Peter Yip, said the closing of the Netscape office in Hong Kong "would have no impact" on their joint Web offerings because they "have always been supported out of California."

Yip did say he was "disappointed that [Netscape] closed their Hong Kong office" because he feels that Hong Kong is "a center of Internet development."