China.com to Bring Portal Data to Mobile Phones

China.com Corp., the aggressive Hong Kong company maneuvering to corner the Asian Internet market, yesterday unveiled new deals to deliver content in Hong Kong and fill its coffers for more expansion.

The company announced it will deliver consumer information on mobile phones over the New World Mobility network in Hong Kong. The content will be available through New World's Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) service, Wide World Mobility. In another deal with New World Telephone Group, China.com has arranged to offer information from its Hongkong.com site on New World's PowerPhone kiosks, located in train stations, shopping malls, and the airport.

Following a partnership announced last week with U.S.-based TheBigStore.com, China.com yesterday also announced a deal under which it will use transactional systems, content, services, and search engines from TheBigHub.com, an affiliated company. The five-year deal will strengthen the portal features of China.com, Hongkong.com, and Taiwan.com, officials said.

To raise money for further acquisitions and expansions, China.com plans to offer approximately 2.9 million new shares on the Nasdaq late this month or in early February. Based on its closing price yesterday, the offer would raise approximately US$238 million.

Beginning in the first quarter of this year, New World's WAP handset customers will be able to get information such as local news, weather, traffic and dining and nightlife information from China.com. E-mail, online shopping and chat features will be added later this year.

Similar lifestyle information, from Hongkong.com's CityGuide feature, will be available on the PowerPhone kiosks. The kiosks currently offer e-mail access, fax, shopping, and other capabilities to tourists and non-Internet users.

China.com is in Hong Kong and can be reached on the Web at http://www.corp.china.com.

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