Hong Kong, September 26, 2000
Fifth WAP initiative to market, distribute and develop wireless applications rounds out chinadotcom's multi-pronged wireless strategy
— chinadotcom corporation (NASDAQ: CHINA; Website: www.corp.china.com), the leading pan-Asian integrated Internet company, in its continuing commitment to develop the rapidly growing wireless market in China, announces a "clicks and mortar" joint venture with CellStar Corporation (NASDAQ: CLST), one of the world's leading distributors of wireless communications products and one of the largest handset distributors in China. This latest strategic alliance is the fifth in 3 months to be announced by chinadotcom as it rounds out its multi-pronged wireless strategy of collaborating with, first mobile phone manufacturers (Siemens and Motorola) and a mobile phone service operator (New World Mobility), then wireless application developers (InfoisLive.com and Nokia Artus Developers Program) and now, a retail mobile phone handset distributor, to effectively maximize chinadotcom's direct relationship with the end user in the burgeoning wireless market.
The agreement joins chinadotcom's wireless technologies with CellStar's immense market reach consisting of over 28 wholesalers and more than 1,200 shops across more than 25 provinces to market chinadotcom's and its affiliate companies' multiple wireless products and services directly to China's enthusiastic 50 million plus and growing users of mobile phones and wireless devices. The vendor-consumer interface and customer service provided by CellStar's extensive outlets will be the bedrock of chinadotcom's strength in the China wireless market because the face-to-face nature of the link with the consumer is the most effective there.
In addition to the sale of chinadotcom's wireless products, the agreement also calls for the joint venture to further develop innovative new wireless products and services for the China market .
A further part of the joint venture agreement calls for CellStar to preprogram the mobile phones and wireless devices that they sell with a link to chinadotcom's wap.china.com. The agreement is expected to add to chinadotcom's portal network user base, increase access points to wap.china.com, and further cement chinadotcom's position as the portal of choice in China.
Specifically designed by chinadotcom's technical team to optimize information displayed on mobile phones, the wap.china.com site provides anywhere, anytime access to online information and services such as news, stock quotes, weather, sports, email, chatrooms and auctions. Mobile Internet access is considered by industry experts to be a critical development for increased penetration of the Internet in China. As an early player in the wireless and Internet industries, chinadotcom is well-positioned to lead the way.
China's mobile phone user population is projected to be the largest in the world within a few years. With easy wireless access to the Internet in general and chinadotcom's portal network in particular, chinadotcom's other business units Web Connection, a web strategy and solutions provider, and 24/7 Media Asia, an online marketing network, will be major beneficiaries of chinadotcom's multi-pronged wireless strategy as China begins to ramp up its e-commerce facilities and traffic begins to increase on the Internet.
"The potential of the wireless market in China is enormous since the number of mobile phone users is expected to continue to grow exponentially, but substantial further economic, infrastructural and other developments are necessary for it to realize its full wireless potential. chinadotcom and CellStar are committed to playing a role in this development. By entering into this joint venture with CellStar we secure our position as a leader and innovator. As the fastest growing portal in China we utilize optimized display technology to offer users with any WAP-enabled phone access to wap.china.com, providing them with quality content and services. We have made a number of strategic wireless moves recently and we will continue to make more in the coming months, in line with our commitment and strategy to develop WAP content and be the portal network of choice in China," said Jack W. Lin, Chief Investment Officer and Senior Vice President of Strategy of chinadotcom corporation.
Acknowledging the potential of the wireless Internet, chinadotcom has made a number of recent strategic moves in line with its multi-pronged wireless strategy for China, which include: An agreement with Siemen's Shanghai Mobile Communication Ltd. and Motorola Electronics Taiwan Limited to provide users of their WAP phones with access to chinadotcom's portal network; An agreement with New World Mobility, a leading mobile phone operator in Hong Kong, to allow its WAP mobile phone users to link to the rich content of chinadotcom's prize-winning subsidiary hongkong.com; Investment in and joint venture with wireless application developer infoisLive.com (first Hong Kong participant in the Nokia Artus Developers Program) and Beijing Digital Ark; and the creation of a Wireless Business Unit (WBU) to develop and implement wireless technology, applications, and initiatives which will be operational later this year.
chinadotcom instantly leverages its operational and cost infrastructure through engaging one of the largest and most effective handset sales organization in China to realize synergies from the productive capacities of chinadotcom and its affiliate companies.
"CellStar is looking forward to working with chinadotcom in this wireless joint venture. The winning combination of one of China's largest handset distributors and the leading portal network will go a long way toward ensuring the future of mobile communications and wireless usage in China. The mobile phone is set to become the most pervasive form of Internet access and with our extensive reach and presence in China we are well positioned to enable as many people as possible to have access to wap.china.com," said Mr. L.P. King, President of CellStar (Asia) Corp. Ltd.
About chinadotcom corporation
chinadotcom corporation (NASDAQ: CHINA) is a leading pan-Asian integrated Internet company offering web solutions, portal and online marketing services. Through its three business units, chinadotcom provides a full range of Internet services around the Asia Pacific region that; 1) build e-business strategies and solutions (Web Connection), 2) distribute content via its portal network platform (china.com, cww.com, hongkong.com, and taiwan.com), and 3) sell services through online marketing (24/7 Media Asia Limited).
Fuelling the growth of each of these three business units is a synergistic investment strategy that leverages off chinadotcom's existing operational and cost infrastructure. By partnering with global leaders in technology, internet and media Trans Cosmos and Agence France Presse, chinadotcom is well-positioned to create long term shareholder value through its investments.
The company has offices in more than 10 markets, including Japan, Korea, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and the USA. For more information about chinadotcom corporation, please visit www.corp.china.com.
CellStar Corporation is a leading global provider of distribution and value-added logistics services to the wireless communications industry, with operations in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe and North America. CellStar facilitates the effective and efficient distribution of handsets, related accessories and other wireless products from leading manufacturers to network operators, agents, resellers, dealers and retailers. In many of its markets, CellStar provides activation services that generate new subscribers for its wireless carrier customers. For the year ended November 30, 1999, the Company had sales of $2.3 billion. Additional information about CellStar may be found on its web site at www.cellstar.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
The statements in this news release, other than the historical financial information, may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from anticipated results. Further information on risk factors that could affect chinadotcom corporation's results of operations is detailed in chinadotcom corporation's registration statements and annual report, as filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
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