Days after stepping into Taiwan in a Herculean attempt to compete with local Web portals, AOL has now established a Hong Kong presence with the launch of an AOL.hk web domain.
With a total population of only about seven million, Hong Kong is not an area that AOL can expect to earn lots of revenue. However it is an important psychological and strategic bid for the company as it hopes to jumpstart its America Online name and bring American business hegemony to Greater China netizens. The company will provide email, instant messaging, and regional content from local partners on this Hong Kong destination.
"The launch of AOL.hk is just the beginning of an ongoing effort to provide consumers in Hong Kong with the services and content they want," warned Norman Koo, VP and general manager for Greater China, in a press statement. "Our industry-leading products and programming combined with our content partnerships will provide a unique experience for consumers and advertisers, as well as an international, regional and local mix of news, finance and entertainment information."
Similar to a deal announced in Taiwan, AOL will provide a co-branded language portal for users of HP desktop and notebook PC's in Hong Kong. This deal will assist AOL in claiming to advertisers a certain amount of users and help to create greater brand equity.