Mapbar, the Chinese online digital map service provider received government license to operate digital maps of China and became the first and only company to receive such license. In addition to its own website mapbar.com, the company currently collaborates with Baidu, MSN, Tencent and more than 2,000 other companies to offer its digital map service in China.
CDC Games, the online games branch of CDC announced on March 23, 2007 that it will invest in Korean game company MGame. The investment will make CDC Games the largest external investor for MGame. MGame is the developer of popular MMORPG Yulgang, which is currently operated in China by 17Game. Furthermore, CDC Games acquired exclusive rights to operate MGame’s next MMORPG WFFM. The game is set to release in China in the second half of 2007.
Tencent released its financial results for the year of 2006 on March 21 2007. In 2006, the company had an operating income of $149 million on revenue of $358 million, up by 96.3% and 140.2% year-on-year, respectively. By the end of 2006, the company has more than 580 million registered users and 24.5 million peak concurrent users for its IM service QQ.
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.