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TOM Group and Popular Computer Group
Form Sino-Foreign Joint Venture

Hong Kong, September 18, 2002--- TOM.COM LIMITED ("TOM" or "the TOM Group", stock code: 8001) announced today it has signed a letter of intent to set up a Sino-foreign joint venture ("JV") with Popular Computer Week Publishing House and China Science Media (together known as "The Popular Computer Group"). The JV will engage in operating the local and overseas distribution and advertising business of Popular Computer Week, Popular Computer Week CD-ROMs, Popular Computer Week Bound Volume and other IT-related reference books of the Popular Computer Group. This JV will be a model for similar partnerships in China's recently reformed media market.

According to the letter of intent, TOM holds 49% interest in the JV with the Popular Computer Group holding the remaining 51%. The term of the JV will be at least 20 years.

TOM will pay approx. RMB312 million (approx. HK$293.3 million) to Popular Computer Group for the 49% interest in the JV. About 39% of the consideration, i.e. RMB120 million (approx. HK$112.8 million) will be paid in cash and the balance via the issuance of approx. 32.9 million TOM shares at the price of HK$5.51.

The Popular Computer Group will inject into the JV (1) the advertising and distribution operations of the Group's publications, namely Popular Computer Week, Popular Computer Week Bound Volume, Popular Computer Week CD-ROMs and other IT-related reference books; (2) the right to use the publications' trademarks/brands; (3) the fixed and current assets necessary for the JV operation; (4) management team; and (5) client resources. TOM undertakes to use its resources to assist the JV to explore the overseas market and to create overseas sales constituting over 10% of the JV's total revenue within 3 years after the establishment of the JV. The JV will not interfere with the editorial stance or content of these publications.

The Popular Computer Group is China's most influential publisher in the IT field. The Group seeks to spread and popularise computer technology and science through publishing and distributing IT-related journals, books and electronic materials. Revenue for the Group in 2002 is estimated to be over RMB400 million. Launched by the Group in 1992, Popular Computer Week is today China's biggest selling IT publication with a weekly nationwide circulation of 700,000. The Group also publishes and jointly-publishes over 20 IT-related titles.

In 2001, revenue and profit before tax from Popular Computer Week, Popular Computer Week CD-ROM, Popular Computer Week Bound Volume and other reference books alone were approx. RMB142.7 million (approx. HK$134.6 million) and RMB38 million (approx. HK$35.8 million) respectively. In the first eight months of 2002, revenue from these publications was approx. RMB122.1 million (approx. HK$115.2 million) with a profit before tax of approx. RMB38.1 million (approx. HK$35.9 million).

The TOM Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Sing Wang said, "The Popular Computer Group has extensive experience in IT-related media operations and sound market knowledge. We are delightful to partner with an industry leader. This JV is a strategic move towards building a solid platform for TOM's publishing business in the Mainland. With the competitive advantage of such a Greater China co-operation, we can better realise the huge potential of the Mainland market. "

Strong synergies between these two leading edge partners will strongly benefit the JV. Popular Computer Week and publications owned by TOM's Taiwan subsidiary PC Home Group are the top selling IT publications in their respective markets. Content syndication, distribution and advertising sales are all areas for collaboration.

The Popular Computer Group's solid experience in IT-related media operations, coupled with TOM's expertise in sales and financial management, will help create more efficient management, distribution and sales management operations that meet international standard---a step in helping the Popular Computer Group become a modern media conglomerate. The JV can count on TOM's cross media platform with its extensive client database, wireless technology, electronic and broadband distribution to expand into overseas Chinese IT-related media markets. Meanwhile, both partners can benefit from sharing skills and experience.

Chen Zong-zhou, Publisher of the Popular Computer Week Publishing House said, "With a team of highly experienced media professionals, we have enjoyed considerable success in our years of operations. With China joining the WTO, we expect keener competition from both local and international media operators. Through this JV partnership, our Group will adhere to our business principles to actively explore overseas markets. I believe the JV will become one of the most successful and prosperous IT media companies in the Mainland in two years' time."

Notes to Editors

About Popular Computer Group

Popular Computer Weekly Publishing House and China Science Media were established in 1992 and 1998 respectively. The Popular Computer Group is Mainland's most influential publisher in the IT field. Its goal is to spread and popularise computer knowledge through publishing and distributing IT-related journals, books and electronic materials.

Launched by the Group in 1992, Popular Computer Week is now China's top selling IT publication in China with a weekly circulation of 700,000 copies. With its motto of "Serving the readers by being general and practical", Popular Computer Week started off as a tabloid published in the west of China. Ten years later it is the best selling IT publication in China which is highly influential and regarded as "The King of China's IT Publications". Over 80% of its readers are college-educated or above. From its original four-pages of content, it has grown into a four-spread 96-page weekly containing reports on hardware and software development, Internet trends, office automation, games, product evaluation and breaking market news. It has been China's highest circulating IT publication for the last six consecutive years.

Two other products Popular Computer Group publications are also best-sellers: Popular Computer Week CD-ROMs leads its category and was voted "China's ten best domestic software"; Popular Computer Week Bound Volume, published annually, is China's best selling IT reference book and has a circulation of 1.25 million sets (2.5 million copies).

The Popular Computer Group has also diversified its business through partnerships with various technology and media companies. The Group now publishes or jointly publishes over 20 IT-related titles. The Group distributes its publications through XinHua Bookstores and China's Post Office networks nationwide.

Besides print publications, the Popular Computer Group in 1997 became one of the first Chinese companies to launch a website. The venture capital Group IDG later became a partner and established China's No.1 IT-related website: According to CNNIC, this is one of the Mainland's "Top ten websites". In 2001, merged with further strengthening its leadership in the category.

A key founder of the Popular Computer Group, Chen zong-zhou has over twenty years of media experience and is a key figure in IT journalism. It was his vision that led to the birth of Popular Computer Week. Back in 1989, Chen published China's first research report on the future of personal computers in China, concluding that computers would enjoy mass appeal in the 90s. From this insight, he started the Popular Computer Week as a small newspaper in Western China. His mission of "popularising computer knowledge to benefit society" has made Popular Computer Week the leading magazine of its kind.

Other initiatives by the Group include reader's clubs, a training institute and exhibition services for high-tech products.

To download images of the Group's publications, please go to:-

About the TOM Group

The TOM Group is a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. and other strategic investors. TOM was listed on the Growth Enterprise Market of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in March 2000 (stock code: 8001).

TOM has pioneered the cross media strategy, building a portfolio of online and offline media assets through acquisitions and organic growth. Its goal is to be the industry leader in each of its four business segments - online, outdoor, publishing and sports & entertainment. TOM is also building a strong platform to offer telecom value-added services.


For press enquiries:
Rachel Chan, The TOM Group
Tel: (852) 2121 7810; Fax: (852) 2127 7576