HK Education ASP Eyes China Market

HONG KONG (05/05/2000) - With more than a thousand member schools in Hong Kong, education application service provider (ASP) Campus Online plans to extend its business into China, as well as Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, according to officials.

As the first step to tap into the China market, Campus Online plans to form partnerships with Chinese government-owned youth education and recreation organization PRCYouth Center. Campus Online and PRCYouth Center will build an intranet connecting its core centers throughout the country, said Sandra Lam, marketing director of Campus Online. In China, PRCYouth Center has a presence at more than 1,500 locations, according to officials.

Campus Online is working with an Internet service provider in Vietnam to provide an online education platform for 55 universities and secondary schools, officials said. It is also holding talks with potential partners in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on extending its business in these countries, they added.

In addition, the company has entered into an agreement with U.S.-based Tutornet.com to provide real-time, interactive online problem-solving services to local student users, said Lam. The services will be integrated into the company's eCampus platform and are expected to be launched by June, she added.

Despite the continued lack of education-focused Internet content providers in Hong Kong, Edwin Shiu, chief operating officer of Campus Online, said that the company will focus on providing technology platforms and applications for education institutions and does not intend to become a content provider.

Therefore, Shiu said, the company depends on traditional brick-and-mortar publishers and even individual schools to produce the content available on the platform.

"By doing so, we can become an effective exchange among schools for educational resources," Shiu said.

Services available from Campus Online include document publishing, database management, discussion boards, video on demand and data storage. By the third quarter of this year, the company plans to introduce new applications such as test on demand, homework submission, and course preparation systems, officials said.

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