said it is acquiring Newpalm
Information Technology Co., Ltd., a mobile software platform developer and
application service provider.
Chinadotcom said it will make a payment of $14 million in cash, and then
will pay “the rest on an earn-out basis over the next two years,” it said in
a press release. Newpalm has projected annual sales of $12 million for 2003.
Newpalm has entered the SMS business and built a customer base of 2.8
million subscribers in China, with a growth rate of over 40 percent per
quarter. While Newpalm is a relatively small company, it has established
itself as one of the leading mobile software and applications developers in
Newpalm’s mobile applications and products are compatible with both GSM and
CDMA wireless network standards. Newpalm’s open-architecture technology also
supports both SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multi-Media Message
Newpalm’s wireless solution is network-independent and connects to both
China Mobile Communications Corporation and China Unicom
China Unicom has been using the Newpalm’s mobile application platform in
Fujian. Newpalm has two major research and development centers in Beijing
and Nanjing, with over 40 mobile application developers.
China’s Ministry of Information Industry recently came out with a survey of
the wireless market in China in 2002. China’s MII said the number of mobile
users has reached 200 million, and said the SMS market is growing quickly.
Chinadotcom quotes a research report by Pyramid Research, which says that
total SMS revenues in China in 2002 were close to $750 million, and will
reach $16 billion in 2007.
In a related development, Seattle-based 4thpass Technology has been chosen
by China Mobile to provide mobile content services. China Mobile is the
world’s largest mobile phone service provider with over 150 million
subscribers, and will utilize 4thpass MAS technology.
4thpass’s MAS technology is known as smart provisioning software that
enables mobile operators to manage, market and deliver content, and the
technology will be offered to its carrier subsidiaries throughout China.
4thpass is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola and is already working with
GMCC, Telefonica Moviles of Spain, LG Telecom in South Korea and Nextel