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TOM sets up joint venture with
China National Publications Import & Export Unit

A Key Step Forward in Building the Largest Chinese Print Media Group

Hong Kong, August 7, 2001 - TOM.COM LIMITED ("TOM", stock code: 8001) announced today that it has formed a joint venture with CNPIEC Information Technology Co. Ltd, (CNPIT), a subsidiary of China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation ("CNPIEC"). Sharing the objective to jointly develop China's publishing business, the joint venture, CNPIT TOM Culture Co. Ltd., ("the JV") will also facilitate and create opportunities for TOM in its building of the largest Chinese print media platform.

The JV will have an initial registered capital of RMB5 million, in which TOM will take a 70% stake while CNPIT will take the remaining 30%. The JV will draw on the synergies, rich experience and resources of the JV partners in the operation, circulation, sales and related advertising activities of print media business in China, paving the way for future cooperation on a broader base.

CNPIEC is the largest import and export group of publications in China with a franchise from the central government. Through digitization, its subsidiary CNPIT brings the traditional Chinese publishing and printing industries into a new era. It also provides business value-added services like electronic circulation and content provision.

TOM has announced in May the signing of a framework agreement to acquire PC Home and Cite, the largest magazine and book publishers in Taiwan. The PC Home/Cite acquisition has formed the foundation for growth through further print media acquisitions and extension of the successful PC Home and Cite franchises into the Mainland China. Forming this JV partnership with CNPIT allows TOM to ride on the broad distribution network and good government relationship of both CNPIT and its parent CNPIEC. The partnership can also lend weight to TOM in identifying appropriate China print media partners, distributing TOM's print assets in China as well as bringing into China proprietary contents from TOM's overseas print media.

Sing Wang, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of TOM said, "The establishment of the JV symbolizes the beginning of a broader and long-term alliance between TOM and CNPIEC. This is also an important step forward by TOM in its building the largest Chinese print media platform. CNPIEC has ample publishing experience and a wide distribution network in the Mainland. It also works closely with Mainland authorities and other industry players. All these will facilitate TOM to introduce overseas print media to the China market and localise them to suit the needs of the Mainland market."

Wen Xiao Fan, General Manager of CNPIT said, "We are delighted to partner with TOM. The cooperation will help us bring into the Mainland quality media contents, further enriching the variety of content distribution in China's publishing industry, especially in the areas of lifestyle and travel. With TOM's expertise in content provision and technical development, the cooperation will also help us to further develop electronic publishing and sales."

The Mainland China book publishing market is enormous. In 1999, the value of new books published amounted to RMB43.6 billion. The annual compound growth rate of new books value in China was 15.7% in the five years from 1995. In 1999, total sales of books reached RMB82.5 billion, with an annual compound growth rate of 22% in the five years from 1995. In 1995 to 1999, magazine publishing enjoyed an annual growth rate of 5.3%, reaching a total volume of 2.8 billion copies in 1999. Total magazine advertising revenue reached RMB900 million in the same year, an increase of 25.1% over 1998.

Sing Wang added, " I expect to see further cooperation between TOM and CNPIEC in the future, building a stronger strategic partnership. With the strengths and expertise of the JV partners, the JV will be able to take advantage of the huge potential in China's publication market. I am confident that the JV will have a promising future."

(Notes to Editors)

About China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation

China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation (CNPIEC) was established over a half century ago. Headquartered in Beijing, it is responsible for the imports of 90% overseas publications and 70% of overseas books into China. With the approval of the central government, it imports foreign publications, including newspapers, magazines, books, music CDs, multi-media CD-ROMs and other digital items. It has a franchise in importing books and publishing Chinese books; other businesses include translation, printing, acting as publisher and issuer, and electronic publishing on the Internet.

With a vast distribution network covering 38 provinces and cities, CNPIEC has established an integrated platform of publishing, printing and circulation. Moreover, it has maintained a working relationship with over 20,000 overseas publishing houses. It organises international events such as the annual Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) and Beijing International Audio/Video Music Festival (BIAVF).

CNPIEC is directly controlled by China's central government, maintaining excellent working relationship with key government bureaux, regulatory bodies and particularly the Ministry of Information. By the end of 1999, CNPIEC had total assets of RMB1.7 billion and a workforce of 2,400.


TOM.COM LIMITED (TOM) was founded in October 1999. TOM 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's head office is in Hong Kong, with regional offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming.

TOM has pioneered the cross media strategy, building a portfolio of online and offline media assets through acquisitions and organic growth. TOM's business now includes outdoor media advertising, Kunming Fench Star Information Industry Ltd. (Fench Star) and Shanghai Maya Cultural Transmission Company Ltd. (Shanghai Maya Cultural); sports event management and advertising, YC Companies; print media, Yazhou Zhoukan, PC Home Publishing Group and Cite Publishing Ltd. in Taiwan; online media businesses, CN TOM, HK TOM,,; and broadband content and services provision, Shanghai Maya Online Broadband Network Company Ltd. (Shanghai Maya Online) and GreaTOM.


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