After years of losses, China's three biggest Internet portals are making a
sharp turnaround, posting their first profits and turning into a rare bright
spot on the slumping NASDAQ stock market. Investors can thank China's love
affair with the mobile phone.
The services still have to contend with China's low incomes and slow adoption
of online commerce. But the turning point came when China Mobile, the
country's largest mobile-phone company, introduced a system last year called
micropayment, which lets portals share in revenues for wireless Internet
access. Now NetEase.com Inc., Sina.com Inc., and Sohu.com Inc. can charge
users who visit their Web sites via SMS. The portals get about 20¢ (1.5
Yuan) each time a mobile user downloads information or games.
"These guys are getting fat off the crumbs off China Mobile's table," says
Steven Schwankert, an industry expert in... (more)
The latest International Telecommunications Union (ITU) report on the state
of world telecommunications revealed that seven of the world's ten most
profitable telecom companies are in Asia.
Asia has shown the way out of recession is to invest in next-generation
networks and to continue to innovate. Now the region is reaping the rewards,"
said Yoshio Utsumi, secretary-general of the ITU. The ITU report found that
Asia is not only the biggest telecom market, it also leads the world in
mobile phone use and installation of broadband services. Asian governments
have been more activel... (more)