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News Corp. buys controlling stake in Chinese portal renren.com

Published on .

HONG KONG--Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., through News Digital Ventures, has invested $29.5 million in an 82% stake in Ankor Group, the Hong Kong company behind leading Chinese-language portal site renren.com. Chinese- and English-language versions of renren.com, which means "everyone" in Chinese, launched in May 1999.

"News Corporation is in the business of creating and maintaining high-quality brands. It is clear that renren.com has established a strong branded presence in greater China and is a leading destination Web site for the Chinese Internet community both in China and around the world," says News Corp. Exec VP James Murdoch. "renren.com is an ideal partner for News Corporation and Star TV in developing Internet and interactivebusinesses."

Ankor Group, whose name will be changed to renren Media, will work with News Corp. to develop new businesses in consumer-oriented e-commerce sectors, consolidate Chinese-language content under the renren.com umbrella brand, acquire complementary Web sites and work to grow the sales and e-commerce team. News Corp.'s participation offers greater access to content, promotion and distribution services through its traditional broadcasting and digital broadband networks, namely Star TV.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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