Sina.com Readies WAP Offerings For China

HONG KONG (03/24/2000) - Sina.com, operator of one of China's most popular Web portals, next month will begin offering WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) services in China through a deal with communications equipment vendor Ericsson (China) Co. Ltd., officials of the two companies said today.

Ericsson will provide infrastructure and handsets and will help Sina.com to promote the services, which will be carried by China United Communications Co. and China Mobile Communications Corp. (CMCC) said Tu Min, a spokeswoman for Ericsson, in an interview today.

Sina.com initially will offer updated information such as news, weather and stock information, and will introduce a WAP-based e-mail service in May, she said.

Ericsson will provide carrier infrastructure, including the WAP platform, the mobile e-mail technology, Tu said.

Users of mobile handsets from other manufacturers also will be able to access the WAP services, Tu said. Other equipment providers, including Siemens AG and Nokia Corp., also will provide infrastructure elements, according to a Sina.com representative who requested anonymity.

The WAP services initially will be offered in large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and across CMCC's service area, the Sina.com representative said.

Sina.com is now in discussions with both carriers on further cooperation, according to the representative.

Also this week, the Chinese government cleared Sina.com to pursue a listing on the U.S. Nasdaq market, according to reports in the official Chinese media. An article by the government's Xinhua News Agency, in the official China Daily newspaper, said the China Securities Regulatory Commission had cleared Sina.com to seek the foreign listing. The Sina.com representative declined to comment on the reports. (See "Chinese Net Firms Can List Abroad, MII Says," March 21.)Sina.com was rated the most visited Chinese Web portal in 1999 by the China Internet Network Information Center. (See "Survey: China Internet Use Soaring," Jan. 24.)Sina.com is in Beijing and can be reached at 86-10-6263-0930 or http://www.sina.com.cn. Ericsson China is also in Beijing and can be reached at +86-10-6463-2288 or online at http://www.ericsson.com.cn

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