Almost ten years after it first made an investment in second-tier Chinese web portal China.com, AOL has now announced a beta launch — not even a full service — of AOL.tw, a dedicated website for the region.
Not bothering to even localize its American-centric name, AOL is offering novel Internet services like free email and instant messaging. AOL says it is developing a series of partnerships with content creators in the region and is planning a co-branded local language portal and search solution for HP users in Taiwan.
As part of its international growth plans, AOL has now launched 18 portals and plans to expand to 30 countries by the end of 2008. In addition, AOL teamed up with HP last September to include localized versions of the AOL.com portal and other AOL services as the default setting on HP computers shipped in the United States and around the world.
"People in Taiwan are among the world's most sophisticated Internet users," said Maneesh Dhir, executive vice president of AOL International. "Our goal is to deliver an experience that leverages the depth of our product and content offerings, tailored to the individual interests of online users in Taiwan."