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Hongkong.com Pumps $10 Million Into Local Internet Industry

Hongkong.com Studios announced today that it would fund three Hong Kong Internet companies as a part of its corporate development scheme.

The first three firms to benefit from Hongkong.com's US$10 million initiative include a Chinese search engine developer, Goyoyo, instant portal firm Outblaze and the established interactive digital agency, Web Connection Group.

"Hong Kong must stay one step ahead of the rest of Asia in this industry," declared Anson Wang, chief investment officer of Hongkong.com Studios.

"Hongkong.com Studios enables training of Hong Kong workers into knowledge workers, acts as a platform for entrepreneurs looking to invest in Internet content and commerce start-up companies, and promotes distribution of content through global players such as Hongkong.com, AOL and Netscape," he added.

The venture capital funding of the three companies was applauded by Hong Kong Government officials who believe that it is consistent with the policy initiative of Tung Chee-Hwa, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, to turn the Special Administrative Region into an Asian Internet hub.

"The future of Hong Kong depends on our ability to produce a technology based, information based economy in the next few years," said Francis Ho, director-general of the Hong Kong Government's Industry Department.

"Friends in Silicon Valley are hearing and seeing that we are serious about value-added economic activity," said Raymond Ch'ien, member of the Executive Council and chairman of the Industry & Technology Development Council.

Ch'ien believes that Hong Kong can and must overcome such obstacles as "immigration policy hurdles, accommodation costs, parochialism, and language barriers" to become the center of the regional Internet industry.