Media portal and brokerage launch Chinese sharedealing venture  Sohustock.com

Media portal and brokerage launch Chinese sharedealing venture Sohustock.com

Chinese online media portal Sohu has teamed up with Guolian Securities to launch Sohustock.com, an Internet-based sharedealing service for retail investors.

Zhang, CEO of Sohu.com and member of the board of the joint venture SOHU - Guolian Information Technology Company, says: "Sohustock.com introduces a new business model in China by integrating the resources and assets of a mass portal with those of a traditional securities brokerage."

The joint venture operation, founded in April 2002 with a registered capital of US$6 million, is 51% owned by Sohu and 49% by Guolian Securities. The company is led by chief executive officer and Wall Street veteran Sam Qian.

Sohustock.com offers online real-time securities trading, financial information and services, and investment consultancy. Clients can view stock recommendations and analyses from over 40 securities institutions and more than 300 financial analysts in China. Subscribers can also apply for share allocations in IPOs or secondary offerings, as well as government bond issues.

The joint venture's customer services team promises online and off-line support, including home-visits. The support ranges from technical assistance in personalising online features to full-scale financial planning that comprises securities investments, insurance and banking services.

Private investors had opened 4.5 million online trade accounts by the end of June 2002, according to the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The global technology consultancy IDC expects China to boast 21 million online accounts by 2005, the largest number of online stock traders in Asia.

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