Rumors in recent months say that Chinabyte.com is going to shift towards other business areas. Li Zhigao, CEO of Chinabyte, is quoted this week in local media as saying that the company will focus on building online virtual communities this year.

Li says with the increase of netizens in China, the Internet has entered an era of "the public creating the Internet" and online communities are the best agents to represent this trend. Social networking sites in China have started to grow in importance, with KongZhong (KONG) investing in one website a few weeks ago, and Chinabyte is expected to follow in this sector.

In the past year, Chinabyte has developed nine different community-oriented services including rss, bulletin boards, voice chatting systems, blogs and albums by integrating advantages of many other online communities. With these systems built, Chinabyte says it is now ready to launch major online community initiatives.

There is no timeline available for the rollout of these new services.

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