On March 21 2007, Shanda announced that it will operate Wemade’s MMORPG Cangtian in China. The licensing agreement marks a new beginning of the two companies’ collaboration after ending their 4-year copyright and contract dispute in February 2007.
On March 20, 2007 Yucheng Technology (NASDAQ: YTEC) hosted a press conference in Beijing announcing its listing on NASDAQ Capital Market. Yucheng Technology is a IT solution and service provider for the Chinese banking sector.
China Unicom announced on March 20, 2007 that it will collaborate with Russian telecom company TTC to launch a new fiber-optic line between China and Russia. With 10G bandwidth, the new line will be the biggest land-based fiber-optic connection between China and Europe. Furthermore, the new connection will reduce China’s reliance on underwater cables, which is more prone to damage by natural disasters.
Sohu announced that it will collaborate with China’s top science institution Qinghua University to establish a search technology lab. The lab aims to develop new technologies and their applications on the storage, search and management of information.
On March 14, 2007, the internet telephone company Skype announced that the number of Skype users in China exceeds that in the US and China becomes the company’s largest user base. Skype now has more than 170 million users worldwide, out of which 30% are from Asian countries.
Kingsoft, the software and online games developer and service provider announced that its Japanese subsidiary Kingsoft Japan received $22 million in investment from venture capital JAFCO. Kingsoft Japan was established in March 2005 and distributes Kingsoft’s anti-virus and WPS office software to the Japanese market. According to the Japanese magazine ASCII, Kingsoft Anti-virus has a 4% market share in Japan.
“La Tale”, Shanda’s first MMORPG in 2007 launched its open beta on March 18, 2007. More than 150,000 players logged in to the game on the launch day. The game was developed by Korean company Actoz, in which Shanda acquired a controlling stake in November 2004.
Sina announced on March 15, 2007 that it has teamed up five of the world’s largest record labels including Universal, Sony BMG and EMI to launch its online music platform. According to the partnership agreement, the five record companies will provide their musical contents in exchange for a share of the revenue from online ads, wireless value-added services, as well as music downloads.
Alipay, the Chinese online payment platform announced that it will allow users to charge their Alipay accounts via China Post branches. Alipay users can now wire up to 5,000RMB ($630) to their online payment accounts through more than 30,000 branches of China Post. The new service is free to use during the promotional period but will cost 1% of the transaction value in the future.
Alipay, the Chinese equivalent to Paypal developed by Alibaba recently announced that it will start charging its customers by up to 3% of the transaction’s value for its service, starting on April 2nd 2007. By the end of 2006, Alipay has more than 300,000 commercial clients including numerous game charging card and it product vendors. The change will not affect customers trading through Alibaba and its online auction site Taobao.