Oracle, HKT Ally for Greater China B2B Market

HONG KONG (03/14/2000) - Oracle Corp. will team up with a unit of Hong Kong carrier Cable & Wireless HKT Ltd. to build a business-to-business e-commerce marketplace for Greater China, the companies announced today.

The venture will serve buyers and suppliers in a wide range of industries and will be the largest such independent marketplace in the Greater China region, according to a statement by the companies. It will be based on Oracle's e-commerce software platform, which has been adopted by major corporations in several global industries, including automobile manufacture and retailing. [See "UPDATE: Oracle, Sears, Carrefour to team up on B2B," Feb. 28.]The marketplace will begin operating in June and will offer companies a way to slash the cost of purchasing, according to the statement.

HKT's Integrated eBusiness Solutions (IBS) unit, which aims to establish e-business throughout the Asia-Pacific region, will invest more than HK$400 million (US$51.4 million) in the venture over the next three years, according to HKT. The carrier will be among the first companies to begin carrying out its procurement in the electronic marketplace, according to the statement.

Hong Kong's incumbent carrier, facing growing competition as the telecom business in its home market is deregulated, is branching out into value-added network services such as e-commerce. Its pending acquisition by Internet investment company Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. is expected to link the company's business with CyberWorks' planned Asia-wide satellite-based broadband network, Network of the World.

Oracle, in Redwood Shores, California, can be reached online at http://www.oracle.com/. HKT, in Hong Kong, can be reached online at http://www.hkt.com/.

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