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ChinaNet Launches Business Direct 3.0 in Cooperation With Baidu

BEIJING, Jan. 26, 2015 (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, today announced the launch of "Business Direct 3.0" in cooperation with Baidu Direct Reach of Baidu, the leading Chinese language online search provider.

Business Direct 3.0 is a technically marked-up service based on the Baidu Direct Reach mobile platform for traditional service enterprises, which is centered on mobile search, accounts, maps, personalized recommendations and other ways for customers to direct Reach Marketing services. The introduction of Business Direct 3.0 provides an opportunity for the traditional service industry to transit to the mobile Internet, helping companies and their sublets attain new users, and providing users with a better service experience.

The service will also provide mobile enterprise solutions, allowing users direct access to businesses in the mobile terminal service, making online users into offline customers. ChinaNet expects this underdeveloped market will reach a potential market size of USD $12 billion or more. Additionally, very few competitors are engaged in this market, and the Company believes none have the penetration that ChinaNet holds in SME sectors. Business Direct 3.0 will complete a full information cycle from B2b2c, making businesses marketing more direct, effective and easier.

"ChinaNet is growing from a business opportunities platform to a comprehensive 1:1 digital advertising and marketing service provider with a total solution for the B2b2c ecosystem, helping businesses expand sales and customers through mobile and Internet," explained George Chu, ChinaNet Online's Chief Operating Officer. "With the advent of the mobile Internet era, the innovation of user needs and applications have become the main trend of the Internet, including online payments, location-based services, online and offline interaction and more. ChinaNet, together with Baidu, have embraced this trend by jointly launching Baidu Direct Reach with Business Direct 3.0 to open the mobile Internet's 'direct era' for business. With this joint product and service, we will be able to attract more SMEs to utilize mobile and Internet advertising as SMEs have limited budgets and often find this limitation does not give enough or any visible result by advertising and marketing on mobile and Internet. As a result, our cooperation should bring additional sizeable revenue streams to both companies as this market grows and expands in the future. Through Q3 2015 we will be launching with selected clients to ensure faster penetration in the future."

The new service was announced January 25th, 2015 at a ChinaNet New Product Release Conference & SMEs Industry Developments & Trends Forum in Beijing at the Xiangshan Yihe Hotel. Representatives of Baidu and ChinaNet were in attendance, along with several hundred of the two company's top enterprise customers.

About Baidu

Baidu, Inc. is the leading Chinese language online search provider. As a technology-based media company, Baidu aims to provide the best way for people to find information and connect users with services. In addition to serving individual online search users, Baidu provides an effective platform for business to reach potential customers. Baidu's ADSs trade on NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "BIDU".

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 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. Website: http://www.chinanet-online.com.

Safe Harbor

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.

CONTACT: MZ North America Ted Haberfield, President Direct: +1-760-755-2716 Email: thaberfield@mzgroup.us Web: www.mzgroup.usSource:ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc.