FreeStar Technology Corporation, an international payment processing and technology company, and Xinhua Financial Network jointly announced recently their agreement to enter into a joint venture to distribute FreeStar's Internet credit card payment processing products to banks, financial institutions and Internet merchants throughout Asia, excluding Japan.

Under the arrangement, Xinhua has agreed to open offices for FreeStar in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong to ensure market penetration in those areas. The financial terms and other details of the joint venture were not disclosed.

Commenting on the new agreement, Paul Egan, FreeStar's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated that "We are pleased to forge a strategic relationship with Xinhua, a leading financial information and services provider, with broad access to the Chinese market. We view this arrangement as a major step toward the globalization of our payment processing system and one that will strengthen our position to benefit from the anticipated growth in China, well into the next decade."

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