Signs Up Chinese Cities

Enterprises in two large Chinese industrial cities will seek business customers, partners and investors online using Inc. as their portal to the outside world, the business-to-business e-commerce company announced today. formed strategic alliances with the cities of Qingdao and Yucheng in Shandong Province, both industrial centers in China's booming east coast region. Qingdao is one of the country's largest ports, with a population of more than 6 million. Yucheng is in northwestern Shandong Province.

The cities and local companies will use as their Web site for publicizing ventures and seeking partners and capital. Companies also will be able to use the site for transactions, or use as a resource for building their own Web sites, according to

Ventures intended to capture China's consumer e-commerce market, including an Asia-wide retail deal announced today by Corp. and, have focused attention on the ultimate potential of e-commerce in China.

However, many observers say business-to-business transactions will dominate actual e-commerce activity in the near future. is a New York-based company focused on facilitating trade between the U.S. and China. The company can be reached on the Web at

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