For the August 2001 issue of The American Lawyer
If American Online, Inc.’s newest venture succeeds, computers across China may soon say, “You’ve got youjian.”
AOL, the world’s leading Internet service provider and a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc., has joined forces with Legend Holdings Limited, the biggest cmoputer manufacturer in China, to expand Web access throughout the country. Legend, which controls 39 percent fo the domestic PC market, is also a leading Chinese ISP, with 2.9 million registered e-mail users and 1.7 million Internet customers. Currently 30 million Chinese are on the Net, but in a country of more than 1.2 billion people, AOL and Legend clearly see room for expansion, especially after China’s anticipated entry into the World Trade Organization.
Both companies have put $100 million apiece into their partnership, in which AOL will provide consulting services to Legend. Additionally, all Legend computers will be installed withthe new AOL/Legend interactive software. While AOL will hold 49 percent equity in the venture, it will nevertheless share equal representation with Legend on the venture’s board of directors.