China.com Inc., the Hong Kong-listed company behind the Internet portal of the same name, has agreed to sell its China.com website and assets to China-based Global Broadcasting Media Group for HK$90.8 million (around US$11.7 million).
China.com says it is selling the site because it considers that the deal “represents a good opportunity to dispose of [this] non-profitable business.” It plans to relocate the funds to other Web content, services and advertising business that runs in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The move represents a quiet end to a company that was one of the first Chinese technology firms to list on the US and Hong Kong stock exchanges, having joined the NASDAQ in July 2009. The American dream didn’t last long. The company — which traded as CDC Software Corp — was delisted in the US in December 2011 following “public interest concerns” and a bankruptcy protection filing.
Many saw CDC as a company that struggled to settle and find its position in the market. In 2000 alone it was said to have made 50 acquisitions, few of which generated revenue or return on investment.
Today, its China.com news and content portal struggles in China, where, like other countries across the world, social media has become a platform for interaction and news. Though it is unlike the competition in that it offers an English version in addition to Chinese, it is not well known among domestic Internet users who frequent news and information portals operated by the likes of Sina, Tencent and others.
Founded in 1997, China.com Inc sells and provides enterprise software, online games, mobile services/apps and Internet content, in addition to its China.com portal business.
Global Broadcasting Media Group is run by media group China Radio International (CRI). The company has invested and acquired businesses across a range of verticals, including TV shopping, mobile TV, IPTV and radio. It remains to be seen what the group will do with China.com, which remains a pretty desirable domain address.
The deal is due to close by the end of July.
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