News Corp. is looking for a joint-venture partner in China to set up a Chinese version of its popular MySpace portal site, one of the company’s top executives said Thursday.
“We have had some conversations,” said Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp., responding to a question about the company’s plans for MySpace in China during a conference call with analysts and reporters.
It’s possible that News Corp. may launch a Chinese MySpace site during the next year, Chernin said, noting this would depend on finding the right partner. “We will look at China if we think there is a good opportunity,” he said.
News Corp. has aggressively expanded MySpace into more markets over the past year, offering sites in different languages. The company launched a MySpace site in Japan on Nov. 6, adding the country to a list of existing sites in the United States, Australia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. MySpace Japan is a joint venture with Japan’s Softbank.
As a result of these expansion efforts, the number of MySpace users outside the United States is now about 27 million, up from just 3 million to 4 million international users one year ago, Chernin said.
News Corp. expects this growth to continue. “We signed up 17,000 or 18,000 users just yesterday [in Japan],” Chernin said. “We’re going to continue to see great acceleration at pretty minor costs in our MySpace international user base.”
-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service (Singapore Bureau)
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