Acer, GE Announce E-Com Joint Venture

Acer Digital Services Corp., the Internet unit of Acer Group, Taiwan’s
biggest computer maker, and GE Information Services
Inc.
(GEIS), the electronic commerce unit of General
Electric, announced a $14 million
business-to-business e-commerce joint venture.

The new company, Ch’i-Ch’i Asia E-commerce Services
Co., will initially be 85 percent owned by Acer. GEIS
said it plans to boost its holding from 15 percent to
49 percent within three years.

The venture will utilize GEIS’s existing e-commerce
infrastructure, and aims to become Asia’s largest
e-commerce software provider within two or three
years. Localization and customization will be major
selling points.

The software to be sold by the new company is targeted
at customers in supply-chain manufacturing,
distribution and logistics, as well as those retailing
and financial services. Electronic catalog services
will be offered in the near future.

GEIS is currently the world’s largest provider of
business-to-business e-commerce services. The company
has already formed partnerships with two Taiwanese
firms which will provide technological services, and
has invested a total of $30 million in a number of
e-commerce ventures in East Asia.

“Asia’s export-oriented economies are most suitable
and most ideal for business-to-business software,”
said Ignatius Wei, national executive for GE
International Taiwan Inc. and vice president of GEIS
for the Asia-Pacific region. “Even though the uptake
of electronic commerce in Asia has just started, its
immense population and business growth potential may
allow electronic commerce growth to surpass Europe and
the USA.”

Last year, 15 percent of GEIS’s worldwide revenue of
us$700 million was derived from Asia.

Acer Digital, established in the third quarter of
1999, has already invested in several local and
overseas Internet-related businesses such as educational software developer
Interserv, search-engine Web site
Tornado, and ISP PAGIC Net.

News Around the Web