The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:
• According to an official of MySpace China (NASDAQ:NWS), the company has extended invitations to technicians for them to test a beta version of an instant messaging service. MySpace China said the roll-out of the service will depend on user feedback and whether the performance is able to satisfy users' demands even as the company said it looks to launching the service as soon as possible. Social networks like MySpace allow users to share images, music, videos and blogs. They are very popular among teenagers and young clients. Media sources place MySpace China’s users at 600,000. MySpace China is a locally owned, operated and managed company that has secured investment from MySpace Inc., publisher IDG and China Broadband Capital Partners L.P., a fund operated by Edward Tian, the former chief of China Netcom Group.
• According to Google China’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) president, the Internet giant is moving its servers from the U.S. to China in a bid to hasten its development in the country. Media sources indicated that Google have also plans to launch more products in China. The reports also took note of the fact that, if Google is placing its servers in China, it has to consider the data, privacy and Internet laws in the country. In the past, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Yahoo (YHOO) encountered similar data problems in China.
• Sina.com (NASDAQ:SINA) and Google announced their entering into a strategic agreement. Under the deal, Google's web page search service will be embedded in Sina's search box, which will enable users to switch between online content and web page search. The two companies also revealed their future plans, which include the widening of their cooperation to cover news and other content areas.
• GoMacau.com announced its acquisition of it 100 percent of Macau.com, Macau's top Internet site, with the CEO of Macau.com calling the move as significantly extending GoMacau’s consumer reach. GoMacau.com is owned by MKW Capital Management, a private equity fund that also owns VIVA Macau, an international airline and other businesses based in Macau. With the agreement, Macau.com will now serve as Macau's premier portal enabling users access to a wide variety of Macau-related information and businesses, including news, real estate, employment, gaming, exhibitions and travel.
Media, Entertainment and Gaming
• Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited (NASDAQ:SNDA), a leading interactive entertainment media company in China, announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with South Korean online game developer Actoz Soft Co., Ltd. for the exclusive license to operate X-Up, a 3D online sports-themed table tennis game, in mainland China. The game is expected to enter open-beta testing in China in the fourth quarter of 2007. X-Up is described as an action-packed online 3D table tennis game featuring uniquely detailed characters, authentic apparel and equipment, distinct styles of play, and lifelike player animation. Actoz Soft Co., Ltd. is a leading South Korean developer, operator and publisher of online games. It holds co-copyrights to several of the leading online games in China, including Mir II and Mir III. Actoz has also licensed online games to other markets, including Europe, Japan, India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. In addition, Actoz develops online games and operates certain online games in South Korea. Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited is a leading interactive entertainment media company in China. Shanda offers a portfolio of diversified entertainment content including some of the most popular massively multiplayer and casual online games in China, along with online chess and board games, network PC games and a variety of cartoons, literature works and music.
• AliPay said it has joined the BDC market of casual games, with the Alibaba affiliate partnering with Tiancity.com, an online game operator. Under the agreement, players are now able to buy cards from Tiancity.com through AliPay. Earlier, the two companies also went into an agreement about dealer payments and employee salary payments. Analysts estimate the sales revenue from China's online game publication market as reaching 24.4 billion yuan (US$3.2 billion) by 2011.
• CDC Corporation’s (NASDAQ:CHINA) subsidiary announced its signing of a binding term sheet that will allow it to acquire OPTIC, the online games publishing division of CITIC Pacific. With the deal, OPTIC will continue to operate its portfolio of existing games under its own brand. The contract willalso allow OPTIC to serve as another platform to launch CDC's series games in coming months that is expected to give more diversity and choice to gamers in China.
• Shanda announced that it has entered into license and distribution agreements for its inhouse developed online games World of Legend and Crazy Kart with Vietnam-based online game operator IT Investment and Development Company (VTC Intecom). Under the agreements, VTC Intecom will have the exclusive rights to operate World of Legend and Crazy Kart in Vietnam for three years. Crazy Kart has reportedly already attracted more than 200,000 registered users. In a separate development, Shanda said it has also entered into two agreements with the Hong Kong-based online game operator CSOFT. Under the agreements, CSOFT will be granted the exclusive rights to operate Magical Land and Crazy Kart in Hong Kong and Macau. Both games are expected to enter closed beta testing at the end of June 2007.
• China GrenTech announced that it has secured bids from China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) and China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) to supply TD-SCDMA wireless coverage equipment for the expanded TD-SCDMA technique trial network. Media sources said the expanded TD-SCDMA technique trial networks have been deployed in ten cities in China: networks in eight cities will be constructed by China Mobile Group, while networks in the other two cities will be constructed by China Telecom and China Netcom (CN-OLD), respectively.
• mInfo.com, a privately run Chinese wireless firm, announced its acquisition of Guanxi SMS, an English-language mobile search service in China. The acquisition will give Guanxi a new unified code across all four mobile carriers in China. The company was founded in 2005. Since then, the company said it has extended itself to many life-oriented mobile search services and has expanded geographical coverage to 59 of the largest cities throughout China. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
• Xingchen Communications announced its plans to initiate its IPO in Hong Kong with the aim of generating some US$100 million for developing 3G services. JP Morgan will be the company’s exclusive sponsor for the offering. Xingchen Communications posted a 131 percent rise in its 2006 net profit to 134 million yuan (US$17.5 million) over the same period of the previous year. The company is one of the three main wireless coverage suppliers in the country. The other two domestic wireless coverage system suppliers are Comba Telecom System Holdings and China GrenTech, which have already listed in Hong Kong and NASDAQ, respectively.
• Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and China Mobile Communications announced the signing of a US$1 billion wireless networking equipment deal. Under the agreement, Ericsson said it will supply core and radio network equipment and technical support/services, with deliveries of equipment started already. China Mobile said it has plans to expand its GSM coverage in 19 regions within China. In a statement, Ericsson said it has invested up to US$2.5 billion in China in 2006 and exported US$1.6 billion worth of products. In a separate deal, Sony Ericsson and China Postel Mobile Comm. announced a mobile phone purchasing agreement estimated to be worth US$600 million.
• China Netcom and Asia Netcom have jointly announced their signing an agreement to operate landing station in Qingdao. Currently, Asia Netcom's EAC (East Asia Crossing cable system) is linked to China via its Hong Kong landing point, to which the newly operated Qingdao landing station will be complementary. Industry experts see the use of Qingdao, the northernmostlanding site for the country as cutting in half the distance between the Chinese main cities and that of Japanese and South Korea.
• STATS ChipPAC Ltd. (STTS), a leading independent semiconductor test and advanced packaging service provider, and Ningbo Mingxin Microelectronics Co. Ltd. announced their signing of a definitive agreement for the sale of select manufacturing assets to Mingxin. Under the agreement, STATS ChipPAC will transfer assembly and test assets used to manufacture discrete power packages to Mingxin which is located in Ningbo city, Zhejiang province in China. Mingxin specializes in research, development and manufacturing for a range of power, medium and small signal semiconductors. Ningbo Mingxin Microelectronics Co., Ltd is a joint venture enterprise and important high and new technical enterprise of the national grade in China. Established in 1992, Mingxin specializes in semiconductor researching, developing and manufacturing. STATS ChipPAC Ltd. is a leading service provider of semiconductor packaging design, assembly, testing and distribution solutions. Outside the U.S., it maintains offices in South Korea, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, the Netherlands and UK. STATS ChipPAC's facilities include those of its subsidiary, Winstek Semiconductor Corporation in Taiwan.
• OMRON Corporation of Japan (OTCPK:OMRNY) announced the opening of its OMRON R&D Collaborative Innovation Center, which makes it the company’s first major R&D facility outside Japan. The center will house the Omron Institute of Sensing & Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., which focuses on vision sensing and other control technologies that equip machines with near-human levels of judgment. As part of the company’s interest to collaborate, the Center will also be open to outside researchers and students working in related fields from Shanghai Jiaotong, Tsinghua, Xi'an Jiaotong, Zhejiang and other Chinese universities as. Omron said around 100 researchers will be working on researches falling under thirty themes. Located in Shanghai Zizhu Science-based Technology Park, the center is valued at around US$9.7 million facility. Omron said its investment in the Chinese market has reached almost 30 billion yen (US$243 million) in three years.
Disclaimer: IRG is not responsible for the accuracy of the news compiled within this article, which is based on publicly available information.