Chinese Internet portal Sina.com (SINA) has signed a deal with real estate firm E-House (EJ) to form a new venture to build the largest online real estate portal in China.

"This partnership is an extension of Sina's pursuit to provide the best quality content and services to high-end Internet users in China by co- operating with industry leaders in vertical areas," said Charles Chao, president and CEO of Sina. "E-House not only brings to the partnership an expansive database of localized real estate data, a must-have for anyone considering a real estate transaction in China, but also lends valuable industry insights and a nationwide network of real estate developers that will be instrumental in building the largest real estate portal in China."

Sina is spinning off its real estate channel and home decoration channel and contributing the related online advertising business into the new company, while E-House is providing exclusive license of its proprietary CRIC database to the new company and will develop certain online products and related fee-based services for the new company. Sina is the majority shareholder of the new company, though neither side has stated the exact composition of those shares.

Xin Zhou, CEO of E-House, said, "Our joint venture with Sina represents an important step to realize the commercial potentials of the database and will allow millions of real estate consumers in China easy and immediate access to valuable information. Partnering with an Internet leader like Sina is clearly a winning choice, as Sina can provide an existing, strong footprint in China's real estate industry as well as unmatched brand recognition, huge portal traffic and high-end user base."

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