HONG KONG (04/06/2000) - Sino-i.com Ltd. last week unveiled in Beijing a partnership with the Sun-Netscape Alliance to deliver an e-commerce system using the alliance's iPlanet platform, Sino-i.com said in a statement yesterday.
The e-commerce system, to be provided through Sino-i.com's ChinaEnterprise.com portal beginning in June, will allow small enterprises in China to hook up with partners and carry out business-to-business transactions. The portal currently allows member enterprises to find other small companies for supply and customer relationships, the company said.
IPlanet, developed through the alliance between Sun Microsystems Inc. and Netscape Communications Corp. and made available in February, is a platform for the creation of e-commerce solutions.
Sino-i.com will use the iPlanet platform and work with the Sun-Netscape Alliance to develop a set of transaction solutions for ChinaEnterprise.com, called Purchaser Product Supplier.
Sino-i.com in January announced a memorandum of understanding with IBM that included plans to use IBM's eMarketPlace software suite as the platform for transactions on ChinaEnterprise.com, which would be offered beginning in the third quarter. [See "Sino-I.com, IBM Think Small for Chinese E-Commerce," Jan.
Sino-i brought in Sun and Netscape because of concerns that the e-MarketPlace platform would not be ready in time, according to Walter Ng, deputy financial controller of Sino-i.com.
"At that time, IBM promised us they could deliver a functional and mature platform by June, but it seems during the last few months that we are not able to deliver this platform on time," Ng said.
"We just want to make sure that we'll make the deadline we originally proposed," Ng said.
Sino-i and IBM will continue a marketing partnership, in which they will jointly approach small businesses in China to sell IBM's hardware and software along with Sino-i's online offerings, Ng said.
IBM is continuing to work with Sino-i.com and looking for other areas of cooperation, according to an IBM spokeswoman. She reiterated that the companies had agreed on a third-quarter rollout.
"The fact that the customer changed their schedule doesn't change our relationship," said IBM spokeswoman Florence Ma. "Our relationship is continuing. We are currently discussing cooperation in other areas." IBM officials could not be reached for comment on the shipping date of eMarketPlace.
In addition to its database of small enterprises, which it said contains more than 5,000 companies, ChinaEnterprise.com currently offers web hosting, web site design, and other services to help Chinese merchants who are new to the Internet, according to Ng.
Sino-i.com, in Hong Kong, can be reached online at http://www.sino-i.com.