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ESDlife wins United Nations award for best e-government services in Asia

Three other awards for e-commerce and social responsibility also granted to Hutchison
Whampoa-Hewlett Packard joint venture providing HK Government Internet services

(Hong Kong, 18 December 2003) ESDlife ( today announced it has won four awards, including an accolade for the best e-government services in Asia from the United Nations' World Summit On The Information Society.

ESDlife Chief Operating Officer Tony Ma said: "As a one-stop portal offering both government and commercial services, ESDlife not only provides a new and convenient channel for public services, but also helps to foster the development of e-commerce in Hong Kong. The recognition received both globally and locally from these awards demonstrates the outstanding performance of ESDlife in different areas of e-government, e-commerce and social responsibility. We are proud of the contributions ESDlife has made to business and the Hong Kong community as a whole."

The awards recently won by ESDlife are for Best Practice at the World Summit Award which is supported by the United Nations; the Best e-Commerce Company at the 4th Outstanding Information Technology and Financial Enterprise Awards organized by Capital Magazine in Hong Kong; recognition as a Caring Company by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and a Distinguished Employers award from the Hong Kong Employment Development Service.

ESDlife is a Hutchison Whampoa joint venture with Hewlett-Packard which was launched to develop and promote the Hong Kong SAR Government's "Electronic Service Delivery" Scheme. The award winning ESDlife offers one-stop government and commercial services on the Internet as well as territory-wide ESDkiosks.

World Summit Award 2003

As the nominated representative for Hong Kong and Mainland China, ESDlife competed against more than 800 entries from 136 countries on six continents and to win the Asia Best Practice Award in the e-government category of the World Summit Award (WSA). The WSA is held within the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society which is supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. It aims to recognize and showcase the world's best e-products in content, creativity and application, as well as to bridge the digital divide around the world.

The WSA includes eight categories: e-learning, e-business, e-entertainment, e-culture, e-government, e-health, e-science and e-inclusion. Each United Nations member state can nominate only one product in each of the 8 categories. ESDlife was nominated by the Hong Kong Government in August, and was subsequently selected to represent China to compete in the e-government category.

ESDlife provides some 180 services from more than 50 government departments and public agencies. Popular services include appointment booking for the issuing of smart identity cards, booking of sports facilities, marriage registration and purchases from the Government bookstore. The comprehensive e-platform was cited by the WSA as an exemplary model of private and government sector co-operation.

The Best e-Commerce Company

ESDlife also received recognition for the e-commerce services it provides for consumers from the private sector. It was named as the Best e-Commerce Company at the Outstanding Information Technology and Financial Enterprise Awards organized by Capital Magazine. The judges rewarded ESDlife for its service quality, product diversity and security of the platform.

Building on the success of the e-government platform, ESDlife has been providing related commercial services to bring real convenience to consumers and stimulate e-commerce in Hong Kong. Among the list of creative e-commerce services provide by ESDlife is an e-shop opened earlier this year, offering an extensive range of quality products and services to consumers. Products available at e-shop include sports and health products; leisure-related services such as hotel and travel packages, local tour and leisure courses; wedding merchandise such as cake coupons, wine and accessories; home appliances as well as a wide variety of gift items. The list will keep growing to provide an even more extensive choice to customers.

The award recognizes the promising growth in sales achieved by ESDlife's e-shop and its delivery of a new online shopping experience to consumers in Hong Kong.

Caring Company 2003

ESDlife places emphasis on social responsibility. The Caring Company award from the Hong Kong Council of Social Service commended its efforts towards the community and commitment to corporate citizenship. ESDlife received the recognition for its role in promoting voluntary work; educating under-privileged groups in the use of e-government services and employing the disadvantaged.

Distinguished Employers

The recognition as a Distinguished Employer was awarded by the Hong Kong Employment Development Service, formerly run under the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. It commends support and partnership with the organization in providing employment opportunities to the vulnerable. ESDlife has worked with the organization to provide job opportunities to under-privileged groups for more than two years.

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Media Enquires:
Caris Wan    ESD Services Ltd    Tel: 2128 9880    Email: