AUNET Buys AT&T ISP in Hong Kong, Changes Name

AUNET, which is in the process of changing its name to iAsiaWorks, accelerated its Asian expansion with the acquisition of AT&T EasyLink Services Hong Kong.

The company plans to build on the AT&T
unit’s strong corporate and
Internet customer base to speed the roll-out of turnkey Internet solutions
for Hong Kong and China
companies and multinational corporations (MNCs).

“Our strategy is to
provide world-class technology and
Asian, localized applications and expertise,” said JoAnn Patrick Ezzell,
iAsiaWorks chairman and CEO.

AT&T EasyLink Services Hong Kong serves approximately 6,500 customers and
has provided e-commerce
and Internet services in Hong Kong and China since 1994.

It provides leading Internet companies — including
Outblaze, Boom.com and I-Quest — with
services that include colocation, access and professional services.

iAsiaWorks plans to expand its offers in Hong Kong — its regional
headquarters — with particular
emphasis on Net-based companies seeking to move into new markets.

The
company plans to offer truly localized applications, including services to
address translation, currency, regulatory
and fulfillment issues, market by market.

The AT&T EasyLink Services Hong Kong deal includes substantial data center
capacity in one of Hong Kong’s
two principal telecommunications gateway facilities.

Part of the company’s strategy is to host and collocate
customers’ e-commerce businesses on
servers in-country, to bring that e-commerce business as close as possible
to local Internet users. This
provides exceptional content-delivery performance and eliminates the
latency — or slow transmission — issues
which can plague e-commerce transactions.

According to the company, Hong Kong is
positioned to be one of the region’s
e-commerce hubs in the coming century, and both Internet usage and
e-commerce are increasing rapidly
here, in China, and throughout the region. By 2003, according to the
International Data Corporation,
e-commerce across Asia will be worth US$32 billion.

According to
the Yankee Group, by the end of this year there will be almost two million
Internet users in Hong Kong and 16.5
million Internet users in China. Within three years, those numbers will
soar to 3.8 million users in Hong Kong
and 84.5 million in China.

The Yankee Group projects that just under 12
percent of the region — or more than
360 million people — will be online by 2005, at which point the Asian
online population will outnumber that in
the United States.

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