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Mon, Jan 24, 2000 - Page 2 News List

OFF THE BEAT

Student e-dealer makes splash

Riding on the wave of e-commerce that broke over the country recently, college students nationwide are finding more than just fun in online trading.

With the increasing accessibility of personal Web sites, the online "campus" trade -- on everything from used computers to second-hand costumes, from cosmetics to cellphones and books -- is catching on.

But none of these young entrepreneurs compare with Huang Si-yu, a 17-year-old computer student at the Fortune Institute of Technology in Kaohsiung.

Huang started his business just for fun last year when he sold a computer and some accessories online. He later helped some friends sell their old cellphones online.

Huang reportedly nets up to NT$100,000 a month through his online shopping Web site, which he ambitiously calls, in Chinese, "The Biggest Online Department Store in History."

Huang sells up to 20 sets of cheap computers at NT$20,000 apiece per month. He has also managed to build a solid customer base by offering good after-sale services and by sending subscribers a regular e-mail newsletter.

Huang's fame has attracted firms from off campus to set up "stalls" on his Web site, which now sells products as diverse as electronics goods, cosmetics, sportswear and Hello Kitty items.

To accommodate the growing business, Huang has rented an apartment to use as a distribution center.

Breaking records, making headlines

Get out the record books for this news item: While organizing student records recently at Provincial Sanchung Senior High School in Taipei County, a school official discovered an interesting fact -- 17 pairs of siblings are enrolled at the school.

While such a figure might not be unusual at an elementary or junior high school, where students are assigned to schools based on the location of their homes, it is unusual at a high school -- where students are admitted based on high school entrance exams and not on their street addresses.

The school's principal was so impressed by the number of siblings on campus that he asked the 34 students to sit for a group photo. No word yet on whether he has submitted the snapshot to the Guiness Book of World Records.

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