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Shanda signs Indian tie-up
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Shanda Entertainment yesterday teamed up with Zapak Digital Entertainment to enter India's online computer game market as part of the Shanghai-based company's strategy to go overseas.

Nasdaq-listed Shanda tied up with Zapak, which is under Reliance Big Entertainment, to launch Shanda's online game Crazy Kart in India.

Zapak is India's the biggest online game portal. About half a million Indian players are expected to have access to the game at the end of this year.

Shanda has tested overseas online markets by exporting its games to Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea last year. Export value topped more than US$10 million.

Companies from Europe, America and Japan have also showed interest in launching Shanda's games, although no deals can be announced yet, the company said.

"The alliance with Zapak signaled Shanda's overseas expansion plans this year," said Tan Qunzhao, president and CTO of Shanda.

Tan was making his first public appearance after taking the office from Tang Jun, who moved to a South China-based private firm Newhuadu Industrial Group Co.

Tang, a poster boy of the Chinese IT industry, helped Shanda to go public on Nasdaq in May 2004. Tan has been at Shanda for eight years, joining when it was a start-up company. He previously focused on technology development.

Shanda is China's biggest online game company with a market share of 24 percent last year, according to iResearch, a Shanghai-based IT consulting firm.

In 2007, China's online game revenue rose to 12.8 billion yuan (US$1.82 billion), a rise of 67 percent since the year previously.

(Shanghai Daily April 17, 2008)

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