BEIJING, Sept. 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNET) ("ChinaNet" or the "Company"), a leading B2B (business to business) Internet technology company providing online-to-offline (O2O) sales channel expansion services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial management and networking services for entrepreneurs in the People's Republic of China, announced today that Liansuo signed a number of new clients, including Sesame St. English, after participating in the 29th Guangzhou Franchise Exhibition. The event was held in Guangzhou from September 19-21.
The Company signed 12 new clients and re-signed 55 existing clients for Liansuo.com, its integrated advertising and marketing services platform. Liansuo offers fully integrated advertising, marketing and management solutions for mid-size to large franchise businesses in China. Among the new clients are included Sesame St. English, affiliated with the Sesame Workshop in the US; October Mammy (http://www.octmami.com/), a retailer for expectant mothers with 800 stores across China; Origus (http://www.origus.com/), a pioneer of the pizza buffet concept in China, which currently operates 80 locations in Beijing; and Thankyou99 Hotel (http://www.thankyou99.com/), a franchised hotel chain with 1001 hotels around China.
"The Guangzhou Franchise Exhibition was very successful for ChinaNet and allowed us to reach a wide range of potential clients over three days. Signing new clients, building a pipeline of prospects and building our brand identity were the three primary goals for this event," said ChinaNet COO George Chu. "The franchise industry in China has experienced 50% to 60% growth and according to data from the Ministry of Finance, China has become the world's largest franchise market. We continue to focus our efforts on this large and growing market by offering cost effective advertising and value-added services to franchisors. Franchise is only one of the sectors upon which ChinaNet is focusing and our business extends to many other SME sectors in China as well. One client, for example, is Mendale, a leading textile company that produces and distributes bed linens. Mendale is listed in China and has a market cap of approximately USD 300 million, as well as 2700 stores across the country. They've been working with us for almost two years and over this period they've continued to expand and increase their customer base despite a downturn in the market. The value that we bring to SMEs is tangible and quantifiable. As a result, Liansuo.com has achieved remarkable growth in the mid-size to large segment of the market. In September 2014, the company had 238 clients, a 56% increase over the 153 reported at the end of 2013. The company is expected to break even this year. ChinaNet has experienced a transition, moving to a digital, tracking and results-oriented more in tune with the coming personalized, mobile and digital Internet advertising and marketing era, in which precision will be the key to success. I am very proud of my employees and what they were able to achieve at this event."
The Guangzhou Franchise Exhibition is one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious franchise exhibitions in China, attracting attendees and exhibitors from more than 46 countries around the world.
About ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc.
The Company, a parent company of ChinaNet Online Media Group Ltd., incorporated in the BVI ("ChinaNet"), is a leading digital B2B (business to business) Internet technology company focusing on providing online to offline (O2O) sales channel expansion service for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial management and networking service for entrepreneurs in China. The Company, through certain contractual arrangements with operating companies in the PRC, provides Internet advertising and other services for Chinese SMEs via its portal websites, 28.com, Liansuo.com and Chuangye.com, TV commercials and program production via China-Net TV, and in-house LCD advertising on banking kiosks targeting Chinese banking patrons. Web address: http://www.chinanet-online.com.
This release contains certain "forward-looking statements" relating to the business of ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc., which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including business uncertainties relating to government regulation of our industry, market demand, reliance on key personnel, future capital requirements, competition in general and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are or will be described in greater detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements are based on ChinaNet's current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on the Company. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting ChinaNet will be those anticipated by ChinaNet. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond the control of the Company) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. ChinaNet undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.