JV to Be a Component of chinadotcom’s Strategic Expansion of its Wireless Service Offering and Geographic Coverage for Mobile Applications.
chinadotcom corporation (Nasdaq: CHINA) (website: www.corp.china.com), a leading integrated enterprise software and mobile applications company in China and internationally, today announced that its newly-established mobile unit in Australia has signed a binding term sheet to form a 50/50 joint-venture (JV) with Soprano Design, a leading mobile network service infrastructure supplier based in Australia. The JV is a component of chinadotcom’s strategy of leveraging upon its well-established mobile applications business in China and its international presence in technical infrastructure for applications development, to drive the expansion of its mobile applications service offerings beyond pure SMS (text messaging) based products to 2.5 generation (“G”) and 3G enabled products with higher value-added applications such as multimedia applications, mobile games and video downloads.
Upon finalisation of the JV which is contemplated in the next 60 days, Soprano will licence its mobile network services infrastructure technology exclusively to the JV in the Greater China region. In addition, leveraging upon chinadotcom’s mobile development capabilities in China, the JV will introduce Soprano’s technology to China and a fully localised version of this platform is contemplated that will enable it to meet the requisite regulations and requirements for the China market and the needs of its customers in China.
One of the unique solutions Soprano has implemented is the “SOPRANO Parking” platform. “SOPRANO Parking” utilises the easy-payment capabilities of mobile phones and removes the need for the tiresome search for coins and lines at pay stations. The application operates as a front-line system capturing and managing mobile transactions. It also offers additional services to drivers including alerts on approaching parking limit expiration and information on parking locations.
Daniel Widdicombe, Chief Financial Officer of chinadotcom corporation said: “We are continuing the process of leveraging off our established wireless business in China. The contemplated JV is a further strategic move aimed at expanding our mobile applications capabilities internationally, although this contemplated JV is still in its early stages and the financial impact is expected to be minimal in the near term. China continues to be the largest, rapid-growth mobile market globally, and we will continue to look for applicable state-of-the-art wireless technologies with high value-added applications outside China, and localise them for deployment to our existing customer base in China.”
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Sydney, Soprano is focused on the development of carrier-grade 2.0, 2.5 and 3G-enabled mobile network services infrastructure to mobile operators, wireless service providers, financial institutions and corporations. Soprano products provide a wide range of comprehensive, mission-critical platforms for its customers including Intelligent Information Services Platform, SMS/MMS Corporate Gateway Platform, Premium Services Platform, and Mobile Commerce Platform. The Soprano suite of products is currently being used by many blue-chip customers including Telstra Corporation, NEC Corporation and Legion Interactive. Soprano is headquartered in Sydney and has regional offices in Melbourne, Tokyo, London and Paris.
“As a long standing mobile commerce leader, Soprano has developed a sophisticated set of mobile commerce applications including SOPRANO Parking, SOPRANO Vending, SOPRANO MobilePay, and SOPRANO Prepaid Recharge,” said Dr. Richard Favero, CEO of Soprano Design. “The mobile commerce and premium service market is one of the fastest growing sectors in China. Our proven state-of-the-art mobile platform and solutions, coupled with chinadotcom’s strong China presence, extensive distribution network and technical experience for product localisation, should accelerate our penetration into the world’s largest mobile market.”
About chinadotcom corporation
chinadotcom corporation (NASDAQ: CHINA) (Website: www.corp.china.com) is a leading integrated enterprise software and mobile applications company focused on two of the fastest growing business segments — manufacturing and mobile — in China and internationally. The company has over 1,000 employees with operations in over 14 countries.
CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary, is focused on the large manufacturing for export sector in China, as well as internationally. Recently it completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in Industri Matematik International (“IMI”), an international provider of mission critical Supply Chain Management (“SCM”) software for multinationals and large enterprises, based in New Jersey, U.S. with key operations in the U.S. and Europe. In addition, the company has established strategic partnerships with leading international software vendors to localise and resell their software products throughout the Asia Pacific region. It currently has over 1,000 customer site installations and 600 enterprise customers in China and internationally. The company recently announced the intention to acquire a 100% stake in Ross Systems (“Ross”), a NASDAQ-listed global provider of enterprise software for process manufacturers based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. with significant subsidiary operations in Western Europe. The acquisition of Ross is subject to Ross’ shareholder approval and certain regulatory approvals.
CDC’s Mobile Applications and Portal Operations are focused on rapid growth in the mobile applications market internationally. The company offers consumer-based and enterprise-based SMS and mobile application software development services in China and Korea. Paid subscriptions in China reached 5.1 million as of September 30, 2003, with direct connectivity with local mobile operators in 26 provinces. Recently launched services include China News SMS, Business Elite (business, finance and market information), Military SMS, enhanced free and paid mail services, and the popular X-City and X-City 2 services. The unit’s Korean operation develops cutting-edge CDMA-based mobile applications and establishes partnerships between leading Korean content, games and services developers and our China-based SMS platform.
Beyond China and Korea, the unit aims to expand its mobile service and applications internationally through partnerships with global mobile applications and technology providers.
CDC Outsourcing, a wholly owned subsidiary, aims to take advantage of the global trend of companies looking to outsource to China by positioning its CMM (Capability Maturity Model) Level 3 certified Software Development Center’s capabilities as an outsourcing conduit for economical, high-quality software development for the large customer base of our acquired companies. Its current outsourcing capability includes operations in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the US, with some 350 consultants, complemented by a partnership with Moksha in India with over 500 more outsourcing staff servicing software companies internationally.
For more information about chinadotcom corporation, please visit www.corp.china.com