Ninetowns (NINE) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 16.25% equity interest in Global Market Group Limited, a leading Chinese B2B trade facilitator headquartered in Guangzhou.

Ninetowns will pay US$5 million, and the completion of the investment is subject to customary closing conditions.

Founded in 1999, Global Market has built a professional international trade platform that offers international marketing services for suppliers and manufacturers based in China, and integrated sourcing services for international volume buyers through its B2B website at GlobalMarket.com and trade magazines.

Leveraging on its broad customer base of international suppliers coupled with its international trade expertise and experience, Ninetowns' strategy is to expand its services to its customers by offering B2B trade services in addition to the cost savings achievable through its business-to-government (B2G) e-filing services. Building on its sizeable base of Chinese suppliers that utilize its Internet services, Ninetowns believes that its investment in Global Market represents an initial step in developing an online community of international buyers and domestic suppliers.

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