Yahoo! Unveils Chinese Version

Adding another country to its global portal empire, Yahoo! Inc. Friday rolled out its Yahoo! China service.

Yahoo! China boasts more than 20,000 Web sites displayed in simplified Chinese characters, and the same number of sites created in traditional Chinese characters.

“Yahoo! continues to become the one place that anyone in the world needs to go to find anything that is relevant to their everyday life,” said Heather Killen, vice president of international at Yahoo!. “With Yahoo! China, we’re able to give Internet users in China easy access to a range of Yahoo!’s popular services tailored to meet the needs of this audience.”

Yahoo! directory searches will tie results from Yahoo! China to additional results from the other Chinese-language Yahoo! directories. Financial information is available for the Shanghai stock markets, as well as Chinese-language versions of all the Yahoo! network offerings, including Chinese-language Web programming tools.

Yahoo also included Xinhua, the Chinese goverment’s official news agency, as one of its news sources.

The site was developed with assistance from China-based IT company Beijing Founder Electronics Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Founder (Hong Kong) Limited which was originally founded by Beijing University. Yahoo! (YHOO) expects that Founder will continue to work with Yahoo! China for its growth within China.

Yahoo! China represents the 20th international property in Yahoo!’s network. Yahoo! has localized Web guides for other markets in Asia, including Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and southeast Asia.

As with several other American ventures in the Chinese Internet sector, concern about last week’s ban on foreign investment in the market did not prevail against the promise of a potentially vast online audience.

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