Elaine Kurtenbach

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After years of losses, China's three biggest Internet portals are making a sharp turnaround, posting their first profits and turning into a rare bright spot on the slumping NASDAQ stock market. Investors can thank China's love affair with the mobile phone. The services still have to contend with China's low incomes and slow adoption of online commerce. But the turning point came when China Mobile, the country's largest mobile-phone company, introduced a system last year called micropayment, which lets portals share in revenues for wireless Internet access. Now NetEase.com Inc., Sina.com Inc., and Sohu.com Inc. can charge users who visit their Web sites via SMS. The portals get about 20¢ (1.5 Yuan) each time a mobile user downloads information or games. "These guys are getting fat off the crumbs off China Mobile's table," says Steven Schwankert, an industry expert in... (more)

No Phone to Cellphone: China's 10-Year Rush to Wireless

The latest International Telecommunications Union (ITU) report on the state of world telecommunications revealed that seven of the world's ten most profitable telecom companies are in Asia. Asia has shown the way out of recession is to invest in next-generation networks and to continue to innovate. Now the region is reaping the rewards," said Yoshio Utsumi, secretary-general of the ITU. The ITU report found that Asia is not only the biggest telecom market, it also leads the world in mobile phone use and installation of broadband services. Asian governments have been more activel... (more)