The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:
• According to local media reports, Tom Eachnet is planning to launch a new C2C platform this year. The reports indicated that by the time of the launching, Tom Eachnet may have created a new platform with a different domain name that will carry all the goods of eBay Eachnet users. The new platform is specially designed for the China market and is different from the current eBay Eachnet web site even as its new domain name has not been revealed yet.Tom Eachnet was set up in December 2006 as a joint venture company between eBay and Tom Online. eBay holds 49 percent of the company's stake and Tom Online the remaining 51 percent. The new platform will combine eBay's experience in e-commerce and Tom Online's resources in wireless services, with Tom Online tasked for the actual operation of the new platform.
Media, Entertainment and Gaming
• Prague-based ITonis, a developer of Video on Demand and IPTV solutions, and China's iOcean announced forming a joint venture to develop and operate an IPTV service in Shandong. ITonis said it has developed a video over IP solution for video content owners and video content distributors that would enable the viewer to see favorite national or local TV programs from anywhere in the world through a set-top box connected to a TV or through a computer. Under the partnership, ITonis will bring its software and technical know-how, with iOcean providing its local knowledge and expertise on the Chinese market. No details about ownership structure of the joint venture were disclosed.
• BIZ Outsourzing announced its acquisition of the business operations of Guangzhou Yin Han Technology Company Limited, a mobile game developer and distributor incorporated in Guangzhou. The share exchange agreement stipulated the acquisition by BIZ of all the outstanding shares of common stock of Free World International Limited, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, through the exchange for 40 million newly issued shares of common stock of BIZ. With all the outstanding shares of capital stock of YinHan held in trust by Free World, YinHan thus becomes a wholly owned operating subsidiary of BIZ. YinHan is a mobile games developer in China whose game library includes popular role playing game Journey to the West and Essence of Swords. Both distribute via the China Mobile’s network, the games posted accumulated subscribers of about 4 million in Guangdong Province as of December 2006, with 1.3 million in Guangzhou.
• Industry sources said Asia Media Co., a Beijing-based provider of TV program guides, is going to be the first company from mainland China to launch an IPO in Japan, with the Tokyo Stock Exchange approving the company to list its shares on the Mothers market for emerging companies. Asia Media said it plans to make an IPO of 4.7 million new shares, with the company indicating that it will use proceeds from the listing to expand its operations in China. The company is expected to expand into Japan.
• Lenovo (OTCPK:LNVGY) China and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) China announced signing a memorandum of understanding in Beijing, setting up of an innovation center. Called the Lenovo-Microsoft Joint Innovation Center, it is considered the first of its kind that Microsoft has ever set up with a business partner. Analysts see this as an indicator that Microsoft will be forging closer cooperation with Lenovo in the future. A key official of Lenovo disclosed that the joint innovation center is located inside Lenovo's Beijing research institute, with Lenovo providing about 40 engineers and Microsoft offering its innovation ideas and technology development experience as well as technical training for the center.
• Lenovo announced plans to eliminate some 1,400 jobs, representing an estimated 5 percent of the company's global workforce. The company said, out of this figure, about 750 positions will be transitioned into emerging markets closer to Lenovo's suppliers and manufacturing operations. With the move, Lenovo said it looks to generating savings of approximately US$100 million for the next fiscal year. The company anticipates taking a pre-tax restructuring charge of approximately US$50 to US$60 million, most of which will be taken in the first fiscal quarter. The company said it arrived at its decision by an analysis of both Lenovo's global operations and current PC market conditions.
• According to Beijing Equity Exchange's web site, China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) is publicly selling 37 asset projects in Sichuan, Xinjiang, Jiangxi and Chongqing. Local media sources said China Telecom is selling the assets in a bid to generate more funds as well as optimize the value of its assets in the regions indicated. The total value of those assets is priced at about 266 million yuan (US$34.4 million). Of all the projects, the price for Xinjiang Gongzong Information Industry Holdings Company is the highest at 44.2 million yuan (US$5.7 million). About ten of the projects from Sichuan are valued at 120 million yuan (US$15.5 million). Some 96.7 percent of Xinjiang Gongzong's stake expects to be sold. China Telecom previously sold all or part of the stakes of its 22 sideline business companies across China. Analysts quoted in local media say that China Telecom is selling these assets to raise more funds, but it also wants to optimize the assets of its industrial companies in the concerned regions.
• PacificNet (PINK:PACT-OLD) finally reported its unaudited results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2006, with the results indicating that the company had a huge fourth quarter loss of US$19.9 million on revenue of US$10.4 million. The company ascribed the losses to Chinese mobile regulations for the outcome. Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2006 were US$42.7 million, which represented a growth of 148.7 percent compared to revenues of US$17.1 million for the same period in 2005. Operating loss for the year ended December 31, 2006 was US$14.9 million.
• Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) announced the expansion of its Multi-core University Program to 37 universities in China, with the company enhancing its partnership to include another 32 additional universities in designing multi-core curriculum, research and training programs. The program provides Chinese university students training with multi-core technology and is designed to mold the next generation of multi-core developers for the global IT industry. Industry observers see the development as another milestone in the integration of multi-core technology into Chinese higher education, with the program aiming to boost the teaching and research of Chinese universities in multi-core development. Intel currently has established five multi-core labs with top universities in China, and plans to establish multi-core labs in 32 Chinese universities. By the start of 2008, Intel intends to have Multi-core Curriculum Programs in 235 universities throughout Asia and in over 400 universities worldwide.
Disclaimer: IRG is not responsible for the accuracy of the news compiled within this article, which is based on publicly available information.