chinadotcom Inks E-C Alliance, Hits 2 Million User Mark

chinadotcom corp. Tuesday continued its
dealmaking binge with a pan-Asia retail alliance, fresh on the heels of a
new user base milestone.


chinadotcom’s (CHINA) newest support beam for its pan-Asia “build, distribute, sell” strategy
comes in the form of an three-way joint venture alliance with The
BigStore.com and China Commerce Development Group. The Hong Kong-based
portal player took a 7 percent stake in The BigStore.com, and will end
up with a 20 percent holding in The BigStore.com Asia.


The BigStore.com Asia, which will launch in Asia, Australia and New Zealand,
plans to offer online shopping in the local language of each country in
which it operates. Products on the offering are expected to include books,
music, electronics, and computers, among others.


The storefront will first become available to chinadotcom portals, with
gradual rollout to other countries.


“We are working with companies that have proven and highly successful track
records in the US and are adapting the services offered by those brands to
Asian consumers,” said Ian Henry, president of china.com’s international operations.


Henry added that chinadotcom expects to get enhanced e-tail capacity in Asia
through the deal, while The BigStore.com said it sees gains from
chinadotcom’s brand, presence and regional expertise. He added that
consumers can expect shipping cost cuts with merchandise shipped from within
Asia.


chinadotcom corp. Monday announced it has reached a total of 2 million
registered users on its Greater China
portal network. This figure represents a five-fold increase from June 1999,
when the site
had 400,000 registered users.

This company attributes the achievement to its marketing program and recent
acquisitions such as [email protected], iConcept.net, as well as the establishment
of a majority-owned joint venture with Accton Technology Ltd. to create
e-Direct.

In a recent report, Rajeev Gupta of Goldman Sachs, said that the company’s
business model “offers a portal network including
value-added features, such as chat rooms, homepage builders, mailing lists,
personalized portals, and message boards, that increase user stickiness and
customer satisfaction.”

Gupta also said that chinadotcom has added vertical channels for news
sports, entertainment, music, technology, and for local markets.

The company has more than 800 employees in 21 offices across 10 Asian markets,
including Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and
Taiwan, as well as five offices and more than 200 employees in mainland China.

Major shareholders include America Online Inc., Mitsui & Co. Ltd.,
Nortel Network Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., New World Infrastructure Ltd. and 24/7 Media Inc.

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