Last week’s highly successful initial public offering for China.com caught many of the pundits off guard and demonstrated that the Asian-Pacific market — despite its numerous obstacles — is too inviting for many e-commerce companies to pass up.
ZiaSun Technologies, Inc., an Internet holding company, is hoping that the attention being paid to e-commerce potential in the region throws a spotlight on its activities. Monday, the company announced that wholly owned subsidiary, Asia4Sale.com was holding its first public commercial auction in September.
Asia4Sale, a portal that consists of a shopping site, a barter site and an auction site, will team up with Philippines auction house, Auctioneers International Asia, to offer products ranging from forklifts to heavy excavators.
Operating out of the Subic Bay port — once home to the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet — the auction house and Asia4Sale expect to generate $5 million to $8 million (US$) in revenues with their first auction and anticipate conducting a number of others throughout the Asia-Pacific region in the year to come.
The company said that registered users of its site, AuctionAsia can log on and put in absentee bids for the September 10th auction.
“We are extremely encouraged by the initial indication of interest in our first auction,” said Asia4Sale Managing Director, Brian Hodgson. “We believe that online participation in commercial auctions in the region will increase and auctioneers like Asia4Sale will play a pivotal role in bringing them to a global audience.”
Go East Young Man
As its name implies, Asia4Sale is aiming to sell goods and services to a populace whose Internet use is on the rise. International Data Corp. estimates that Internet users will increase from 5 million in 1997 to 25 million in 2001.
The company also predicts that e-commerce revenues (excluding Japan) will jump to $16.5 billion by 2001. These figures are enticing to the likes of Microsoft and America Online, both of which have invested heavily in the region.
AOL and the Chinese government are the principal owners of China.com, which saw its share price jump 235 percent at the close of its first day of trading. Though sanctioned by the government, the site lags far behind privately-owned Sina.com, the country’s most popular site.
ZiaSun Technologies is a holding company that operates search engine, online investing tools, Internet services and educational resource subsidiaries. The company announced last month that second quarter revenues jumped to $9 million, an increase of nearly $7 million over year-end 1998 revenues.