chinadotcom, Softbank Form Asia Consultancy

chinadotcom corp. Friday signed a
preliminary agreement with Softbank
Investment Strategic
to create a $100 million consulting company
chartered with advising Asia-bound Internet companies.

The joint venture seeks to accelerate the entry of Internet plays to the
Asian market, and intends to assist through partnership or joint venture
with the imported properties. On the technological side, the consulting
firm’s partners will work with chinadotcom (CHINA) subsidiary the Web Connection.

The new company will be established through a share swap agreement. Details
of the arrangement will be released when the companies finalize the
agreement at the end of the month.

“We are excited about this joint venture agreement and are looking forward
to shaping the new company into a dynamic, investment-driven vehicle for
promising Internet businesses,” said Peter Yip, chinadotcom’s chief executive officer.

“There is great synergy between the two companies, as both
chinadotcom and Softbank Investment Strategic are dedicated to making
investments through incubating and accelerating the development of new and
existing Internet businesses.”

The partnership represents an extension of chinadotcom corp.’s operations
into the Japanese consulting arena, while broadening Softbank’s presence in
the wider Asia market. chinadotcom previously forayed into the Japanese
market through a partnership with TransCosmos. In its investment program,
chinadotcom has invested thus far in 30 Internet companies.

The venture will also cater to offline properties, a part of Softbank
Investment Strategic’s intention to transform offline businesses into online
players in addition to localizing known Net names.

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