and IBM Bring the Power of e-Business to Greater China

Partnership for the localization and customization of IBM's state-of-the-art e-MarketPlace solution to drive online business-to-business applications for

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Hong Kong - 10 Jan 2000: -- Ltd and IBM Greater China Group today announced a partnership for the development of an e-business transaction platform for the business community in Greater China. The partnership marks a new milestone in the development of online business-to-business solutions for specific market requirements in the region.

With a common vision to help companies gain a competitive edge in the Internet age, and IBM will combine their expertise to localize and customize e-MarketPlace, one of IBM's major e-business solutions for, a subsidiary of focusing on the business market in China. In order to make it more affordable and accessible to all enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized companies, which are the economic foundation of the region, the solution will be hosted as an open platform service. Registered companies can leverage the subscription-based solution to perform secure and real-time business-to-business transactions over the Internet.

Experts in IBM's China Development Laboratory will work closely with to develop and optimize the e-MarketPlace solution for the business community as a whole and specific market segments. The e-business platform will be launched in both traditional and simplified Chinese around the third quarter this year.

For companies across industries, the platform will allow them to use Chinese-language interface to conduct online business-to-business transactions based on local policies and business practice. Planned services include matching mechanism for buyers and sellers in the hosting database, contract negotiations and subsequent procurement, sales transactions and fulfilment services.

For vertical market deployment, the subscription-based platform will provide more industry-specific features so that companies can integrate the solution with their current business process. Industries such as the automobile parts supply, electronic and building material will be the first to benefit from these services.

"This is a landmark announcement for both IBM and, as well as for the development of customized e-business solutions for the Greater China region," said Henry Chow, Chairman and CEO of IBM Greater China Group. "By combining's extensive experience and in-depth understanding of the Chinese Internet market with IBM's technological leadership and world-class expertise in e-business deployment, the partnership will help companies to overcome language, geographic and cultural barriers, facilitating both domestic and international trade in the region."

Yu Pun Hoi, Chairman and CEO of, added: " and IBM are committed to making the prominent e-MarketPlace platform in Greater China and a successful showcase to the Chinese business community. Both companies will dedicate resources in the development and promotion of's e-MarketPlace service platform to small- and medium-sized companies as well as the identified pilot industries."'s e-business platform will be based on the e-MarketPlace framework, IBM's e-business software solution that is capable of performing both information search and business transactions and allows a large number of buyers and sellers to simultaneously conduct business online. The e-MarketPlace framework is one of IBM's key e-business initiatives in promoting and enabling business-to-business transactions. will be the first Internet Content Provider to implement this cutting-edge solution in China.

The development of's e-MarketPlace platform will also reference to the e-procurement solution already deployed at IBM's China Procurement Center in Shenzhen. The e-procurement solution was developed by the China Research Laboratory which is dedicated to the development and localization of IBM's advanced solutions for the China market. It is one of the IBM's eight research labs in the world. The Internet-based system handles over US$1 billion procurement a year.

"As the Internet has emerged as an indispensable business tool for companies around the world, an effective supply chain is vital for just-in-time delivery of goods and services to end users," commented Mr. Chow. "IBM is committed to partnering local experts to develop and deliver advanced e-business solutions to customers. We are confident that this partnership will help companies in the Greater China region to leverage the latest technologies to increase productivity and competitiveness, thus enabling them to establish a more significant position in the international marketplace."

"The Internet creates huge business opportunities for companies of all sizes. To capitalize the huge market potential, will continue introducing innovative Internet solutions in all areas," said Mr. Yu. "The new e-business enables to provide value-added services to its 600,000 member companies in China, further strengthening our position as the leading player in the Chinese Internet market in the new millennium."

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Notes to Editors: Ltd. Ltd. (250), previously South Sea Development Co. Ltd., is the information provider for Chinese around the world in the new information era. is dedicated to be the driving force in providing Chinese people the ultimate knowledge in business, finance, entertainment and education via advanced digital technology. Recently, Ltd. has become one of the applicants of the subscription television broadcasting licence in Hong Kong. For more information about, visit


IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM is dedicated to helping customers, business partners and developers across a wide range of industries leverage the power of the Internet for e-business. More information about IBM is available at

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