chinadotcom corporation, an integrated enterprise software and mobile applications company in China and internationally, recently announced that its newly established mobile unit in Australia has signed a binding term sheet to form a 50/50 joint-venture ("JV") with Soprano Design ("Soprano"), a leading mobile network service infrastructure supplier based in Australia.

The JV is a component of chinadotcom's strategy of leveraging upon its well-established mobile applications business in China and its international presence in technical infrastructure for applications development, to drive the expansion of its mobile applications service offerings beyond pure SMS (text messaging) based products to 2.5 generation ("G") and 3G enabled products with higher value-added applications such as multimedia applications, mobile games and video downloads.

Upon finalization of the JV which is contemplated in the next 60 days, Soprano will license its mobile network services infrastructure technology exclusively to the JV in the Greater China region. In addition, leveraging upon chinadotcom's mobile development capabilities in China, the JV will introduce Soprano's technology to China and a fully localized version of this platform is contemplated that will enable it to meet the requisite regulations and requirements for the China market and the needs of its customers in China.

Daniel Widdicombe, Chief Financial Officer of chinadotcom corporation said: "We are continuing the process of leveraging off our established wireless business in China. The contemplated JV is a further strategic move aimed at expanding our mobile applications capabilities internationally, although this contemplated JV is still in its early stages and the financial impact is expected to be minimal in the near term. China continues to be the largest, rapid-growth mobile market globally, and we will continue to look for applicable state-of-the-art wireless technologies with high value-added applications outside China, and localize them for deployment to our existing customer base in China."

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