Tue, Feb 22, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Yahoo-Kimo impatient to extend into new markets

CHASING TRENDS The nation's largest Web portal plans to enter markets for Internet telephony, blogs, wireless applications and music download services

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AP

After seeing solid revenue growth last year, Yahoo-Kimo Inc (雅虎奇摩) said yesterday that it is planning to extend its reach this year to voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP), online journals -- known as blogs -- and online music download services.

The nation's largest Internet portal yesterday announced that its revenue for last year grew by 56 percent from 2003, with online advertising income jumping by 50 percent. Web advertising and marketing accounted for 73 percent of all income, while the remaining 27 percent came from the value-added service sector, the fim said.

Yahoo-Kimo's e-commerce division also saw bright results, with the total value of transactions on its online auction site amounting to more than NT$15 billion (US$476.7 million), and over NT$30 billion changing hands in transactions on its two shopping sites, Rose Tsou (鄒開蓮), managing director of Yahoo-Kimo, told a media gathering yesterday.

For this year, Tsou said that Yahoo-Kimo is keen to enter the "red-hot" markets for Internet telephony, blogs, wireless applications and entertainment content.

"These areas are trends that will further drive the Internet industry, so we will not be absent from these businesses," Tsou said.

The nation's VoIP market is currently led by PChome-Skype, an Internet telephony service introduced last year by another Internet portal, PC Home Online (網路家庭). Tsou said that Yahoo-Kimo will not rush into the sector before developing better VoIP applications.

As for online music, Tsou said that, unlike Apple Inc, that can maintain its iTunes Music Store with the help of sales of iPod music players, Yahoo needs to map out a business strategy to earn a direct profit from the downloading of music. But with the legality of peer-to-peer file-sharing still uncertain in Taiwan, Yahoo-Kimo will not be too hasty in launching the service, she said.

Tsou, who was promoted to director of Yahoo's "Greater China" e-commerce division last month, said that Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd's (盛大網絡) acquisition of stakes in Sina Corp (新浪) will have an impact on Yahoo's expansion in China, although it is too early to say how much.

Shanda, China's largest online gaming company, purchased a 19.5 percent stake in Sina between Jan. 12 and Feb. 10 for US$230.4 million, making it the largest shareholder of Sina.

Also see story:

Shanda's new Sina stake alters market

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