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ESDlife trial applications opens to public
core digital 21 service on track for October launch

HONG KONG -- June 28, 2000 - ESDlife, the joint-venture service portal of Hutchison Global Crossing and Compaq Computer, has successfully moved the Hong Kong SAR Government's "Electronic Service Delivery" Scheme into the next stage of development with the launch of online service demonstrations.

Starting from July 1, the ESDlife web site, www.esdlife.com, will feature some of the government service applications for public trial. A total of 18 applications will be available for demonstration, including appointment booking for registration of identity card, application for renewal of driving licence, job vacancy submission, voter registration, payment of government bills etc.

When becoming fully operational in October, ESDlife will provide a one-stop shop allowing users to access a range of 37 services from various government departments and public agencies.

"The launch of the demonstration site will give the public an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the kinds of on-line public services that will be available in October and the benefits of using this system," said Tony Ma, General Manager of ESD Services Limited. "It also marks the commencement of the HK$50 million massive promotion and education program of ESDlife till the end of this year."

"With the enthusiastic support of the relevant government departments we are glad that most of the infrastructure development is basically completed. The 2 mirrored ESD data centres at Hunghom and Quarry Bay have become operational and mass production of the ESD kiosks is now underway. We expect shipment of kiosks will be delivered in September and the kiosks will then be installed at various high traffic locations throughout the Territory. We would now proceed to extensive testing to ensure the ESD system it is secure and links seamlessly with the operations of the relevant government departments."

The concept of ESD was first announced by the Chief Executive in his Policy Address in 1997. It is also the core initiative of the Government's Digital 21 Information Technology Strategy. Not only will this super portal improve the efficiency and quality of the delivery of the government services, it will also revolutionise how the public interact with the Government. It also places Hong Kong in the digital vanguard, by providing public and commercial services together through a secure electronic platform that can serve each and every citizen of Hong Kong.

"As we are announcing the first milestone of ESDlife, we are also planning for the future development of this site. Our aim is to gradually develop this into a mega e-government web site through continuous service enhancements. Meanwhile, we are in discussion with the Government for introduction of additional services in ESDlife which hopefully will be confirmed very soon," Mr Ma added.

ESD Services Limited is a joint venture between Hutchison Global Crossing Limited (a Hutchison Whampoa and Global Crossing joint venture) and Compaq Computer Limited. Having been granted the government tender for the "Electronic Service Delivery" Scheme in November, 1999, the Company is dedicated to provide a one-stop shop environment for public and commercial electronic services via the establishment of a vast digital information infrastructure.

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Visit the ESDlife web site at www.esdlife.com

For media enquiry:

ESD Services Limited
Sally Tsang
Tel: 2128 6708
Fax: 2187 2055
Email: sallyt@hgc.com.hk
Ogilvy Public Relations
Anita Ko
Tel: 2884 8529
Fax: 2560 0681
Email: anita.ko@ogilvy.com