Asia Online targets North American and Aust businesses

Aiming at companies doing business online in Asia, Asia Online will expand its internet communications business in North America and Australia.

Asia Online Americas, an arm of Hong Kong-based Asia Online, already provides North American customers with high-speed internet access, Web site hosting and maintenance in addition to a variety of localisation services for foreign companies setting up Web sites in Asia.

Under a plan announced on Tuesday, Asia Online Americas will widen its offerings to include application services and targeted marketing programs for businesses expanding into Asia. According to officials, the company is responding to complaints from US businesses that are forced to deal with a number of different vendors just to set up a simple Asian Web site with localised content.

Asia Online was established as a holding company last year by a group of investors including Japan's Softbank Corp, JP Morgan, and GE Capital. It is looking to provide a wide range of services for businesses with interests in Asia from a single point of contact, according to Michael Dunn, a spokesman for the company.

The holding company is also preparing to announce a host of acquisitions in Australia later this week or early next week, Dunn said.

Asia Online has subsidiaries in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and the US.

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