AOL launches first Chinese service in Hong Kong

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HONG KONG--U.S. Internet service provider America Online hasmadeits first foray into China through a joint venture with China.com.,a struggling Chinese-language portal run by Peter Yip in Hong Kong.

The launch of AOL Hong Kong comes on the heels of statements made byChina's top telecom official last month supporting a ban on foreign investments in Internet companies in the People's Republic of China.

But AOL's first Chinese-language site (also available in English), wasdesigned for Hong Kong customers, giving them access to AOL's 18 million strong community, including popular e-mail, Buddy List, message boards and chat rooms features.

The site also includes localized content about Cantonese pop music, HongKong horse racing, local stock market updates and even Chinese cuisine. Content partners include Star TV, the Hong Kong Tourist Association, Star East Multimedia, Celestial Asia Securities Holdings, the Hong Kong Economic Journal, Modern Bookstore, Art Center and PC Weekly.

Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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