chinadotcom in 50/50 Joint Venture Fund with KoreaOnline

chinadotcom Corp. entered into an agreement Wednesday to establish a 50/50 joint venture fund with KoreaOnline Ltd.

The joint venture fund will be based in Seoul and will support various Internet and high-tech projects in Korea, according to company officials.

KoreaOnline has already employed over 150 professionals in three Korean offices across its online advertising and Web solution businesses, serving clients such as Samsung, SK Telecom, Hyundai, LG Electronics and Kolon.

With 46.2 percent of the stake owned by Regent Pacific Group, KoreaOnline is an integrated online financial services company, which provides broking, insurance and banking services. The company owns one of 11 non-life (P&C) insurance licenses in Korea.

KoreaOnline Ltd recently completed a private placement of new shares worth US$117 million. Its insurance portal goes live on 1 April simultaneously with the deregulation of the insurance industry in Korea.

“Given its economic strength relative to many other countries in the region and its appetite for the Internet,” said Peter Yip chief executive officer of Chinadotcom. “Korea is an important strategic market, where we will benefit from the local expertise and experience of KoreaOnline.”

Under the joint venture agreement, KoreaOnline will use chinadotcom’s (CHINA) e-business solutions arm, Web Connection, for the development of its online infrastructure. Another chinadotcom subsidiary, 24/7 Media Asia, will manage online advertising for KoreaOnline’s Web site in Korea.

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