China.com Announces Audited Page Views Data

HONG KONG (06/27/2000) - China.com Corp. on Monday announced audited page view data for its china.com portal, a move that the company called a first for an Asian Internet firm.

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) reported the mainland China-focused china.com portal attracted 10.6 million page views for the period from May 19 to June 18, according to a China.com Corp. statement.

Independently audited measurements of the popularity of Web sites is expected to be essential for the growth of the Chinese Internet industry.

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) late last year announced plans with portal companies Sina.com and Netease, as well as Chinese computer maker Legend Group Holdings Co., to develop a system for measuring Web site traffic.

CNNIC, which administers the .cn top level country domain, currently conducts studies twice a year that measure Internet usage and rank the most-viewed Web sites in China. CNNIC's most recent survey, published in January, ranked china.com as the eighth most visited Web site in China.

China.com does not question the validity of the coming audit results from CNNIC, but needed an outside firm to audit its sites because it needs consistent measurements for its portals in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, said Ed Hsu, chief technology officer of China.com.

"China.com is an international company, so it's important for us to have a single entity to do all the audits," Hsu said.

Hsu said he wholeheartedly supports the establishment of a single trusted auditor for Web sites across Asia, so advertisers can make comparisons using reliable information.

"It doesn't matter who is the auditor, as long as they're credible," Hsu said.

However, because China.com operates sites outside China, it wanted an outside firm to carry out the audit.

A common way of defining what constitutes a page view would also be helpful, but less important than having a single trusted auditor, Hsu said.

"It would be really great if there would be a common standard for the page definition," Hsu said.

PwC's audit broke with the standards and definitions adopted by many Chinese Internet companies when they conduct their own audits, according to China.com.

In its audit, PwC defined each HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) page with multiple frames as a single page view, China.com said. In addition, the audit didn't count hits by popular search engines and "spider" web-crawling tools.

An April audit by China.com, based on the company's own definitions, showed 16 million views in one month for its entire portal network, including china.com, hongkong.com, taiwan.com and cww.com, the company said. Of those views, 10.2 million were for the china.com portal.

China.com is in Hong Kong and can be reached by telephone at +852-2893-8200, or on the Web at http://www.china.com/.

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