AOL (TWX) has launched the beta version of its new Chinese language AOL.com Web portal tailored to serve the needs of the Chinese American and Chinese speaking community in the United States.

Created in both simplified and traditional Chinese characters, this site is available at aol.com/chinese and brings together Web search, blogs and e-mail features with news from North America, Europe and Asia.

The portal will also offer as many as 20 hours of video content and programming at any given time, including free, full-length movies and episodes of popular TV shows from China, webcasts of sports events from China, and more.

"By creating this free language-specific portal, we can better serve the millions of people in the United States who want access to features like e-mail, search, entertainment, and news in one place, in Chinese," said David Liu, Vice President and General Manager, AOL.com. "This launch represents another phase in the evolution of the U.S. AOL.com Web portal and extends our effort to efficiently leverage our Web products, content, communities and services in a context that brings the most value to different segments of our users who share common languages and cultural bonds."

AOL worked with ChinaPortal.com, a division of the Naspers subsidiary MediaZone and provider of broadband video programming for overseas Chinese, as a strategic partner to provide the majority of content for this site covering news, sports and entertainment, including exclusive programs and event webcasts from China.

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