Japan, Singapore Firms Ally on B-to-B E-Commerce

TOKYO (01/25/2000) - Three Japanese companies and a Singapore-based company have announced the formation of a joint venture that will focus on Internet-based business-to-business e-commerce. The Singapore-based firm, e-commerce systems provider Bex.com Pte. Ltd., will own the majority stake in the new company.

The agreement to form Nippon Business Exchange Co. Ltd. (Nbexco) was reached by Bex.com with major Japanese bank Sakura Bank, electronics company Toshiba Corp. and general trading company Mitsui & Co. The company was formed on Oct. 19, 1999, but news of the venture was only announced today.

Nbexco plans to begin business in April and is targeting the signing up of 350 corporate clients within its first year of operations. It will specialize in development, installation and management of business-to-business e-commerce systems and tailor for the Japanese market the business models already developed by bex.com for Singapore and Taiwan. In addition it will study and refine business models developed by its three shareholders for their own internal use or those of their customers, Sakura Bank said in a statement.

The company has already agreed with Entrust Technologies to use the company's authentication services and it also teaming up with banks and network service hubs around the world to facilitate handling of international payments. The company said these include ABN-Amro in Europe, the Development Bank of Singapore and China Trust Bank in Taiwan.

Sakura Bank, in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.sakura.co.jp/. Toshiba Corp., in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.toshiba.co.jp/. Mitsui & Co., in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.mitsui.co.jp/. Bex.com can be found online at http://www.bexcom.com/.

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