Lycos Asia Launches India Portal

BOSTON (07/19/2000) - Following in the footsteps of Yahoo Inc. and AltaVista Co., Lycos Asia announced the launch of its India-specific portal in Mumbai on Wednesday. Lycos Asia is a joint venture between Lycos Inc. and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel).

Lycos India will offer a search engine, community building tools and free e-mail. Localized content will be represented by news drawn from local sources and channels of specialized Indian interest. Tripod Asia, a division of Lycos, will host free homepage building and e-mail, Lycos said in a statement. Content and services will be available in English and Hindi.

Rather than being country-specific, Lycos India will be more community-specific, according to Mary Ong, chief executive officer of Lycos Asia. "This will allow people with common interests to seamlessly find, communicate and interact with each other," she said in the statement.

The rush to launch India-specific portals stems from the fact that Asia-Pacific represents the second largest Internet growth opportunity after Western Europe, according to estimates by market research company International Data Corp.

(IDC) quoted by Lycos in the statement. India is a key part of the Asia-Pacific Net opportunity, with the number of Indian Internet users estimated to grow to 10 million by 2005 up from a current level of 3.3 million, according to NASSCOM, India's Internet industry association.

The Asian market has already been witness to major Internet portal battle, especially in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, with local and international Net and telecommunications companies making significant investments in building Net infrastructure and portals to extend their reach among Asian users. [See "Asian Telecom Heavyweights Begin Portal Battle," May 31.]Lycos' India-specific search engine will join the ranks of 70 community and country-specific sites that the company has built to date in 27 countries worldwide. Lycos Asia, a joint venture between Lycos and SingTel, already operates portals in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.

Lycos India can be reached at http://www.lycosasia.co.in/ or http://in.lycosasia.com/. Lycos, in Waltham, Massachusetts, can be reached at +1-781-370-2700 or at http://www.lycos.com/.

International Data Corp. is a division of International Data Group Inc., the parent company of IDG News Service.

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