Australian online recruitment company Seek Ltd announced that it would acquire a 25% of the stake of Zhaopin.com, one of the top job recruitment websites in China, for about US$20 million.

This is the first acquisition that Seek has ever conducted out of Australia and New Zealand. Seek warned that the transaction may place a negative influence on the company's income per share in 2007.

Andrew Basset, joint CEO of Seek, told local media that Seek will provide operational and strategic support to Zhaopin.com after the acquisition to help the Chinese firm increase its market share in China.

Zhaopin.com is a Beijing based online recruitment company opened in 1997. The company says its growth has been increasing by more than 100% in the past three years. It faced uncertainty six years ago when its founders were unceremoniously deposed by investors and quickly lost its footing against rival 51job.com (JOBS), which is a NASDAQ-listed firm. However over the last few years it has slowly regained its stature within China with the help of CEO Liu Hao.

Analysys International's recently released report "China's Online Recruiting Market Quarterly Tracker 2006 Q2," shows China's online recruiting market had reached CNY160.9 Million in the second quarter of 2006.

According to Analysys International's research, China's online recruiting market had reached CNY160.9 million in the quarter with a growth of 8.44% over the last quarter. Among which, online recruiting revenue from recruiting websites, whose services are targeted at national scope, took 76.4% of the overall market size, and revenue from recruiting websites with services targeted at the provincial scope took 19.3%.

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