BEIJING, April 10, 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, announced today that the Company's brand consulting subsidiary, Quanzhou Zhilang Company ("Zhilang"), has partnered with a real estate developer to initiate an O2O business zone near Huaqiao University in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China to help establish and grow new commercial occupants by using "Business Direct 3.0" solutions in connection with brand management and developing solution, iMAP.
At present, the pre-sold properties in the new commercial zone being developed around Huaqiao University is approximately 60% of the 52 available locations, an increase from 10% before the engagement of Zhilang. This trend of low commercial occupancy is prevalent across China and currently stands at below 40% based on research from Baidu.
ChinaNet's ZhiLang is a brand consulting subsidiary based in Quanzhou, and has successfully helped companies measure and refine their core marketing and branding model with the help of internet tools.
ZhiLang is cooperating with developers to help plan a comprehensive investment solution in the commercial zone, including positioning packaging, store planning and the introduction of high-quality brand chains. ZhiLang will leverage ChinaNet's SME customer base and Business Direct 3.0 solution with Baidu to determine what type of stores and restaurants are most suitable to operate in the zone and introduce them to local potential franchisee and merchandisee investors and partners. Once the new businesses are established, Zhilang will help direct internet traffic for more offline consumption and visitation to the zone. This pilot project will demonstrate the power of a combining big data, O2O online and mobile marketing (combined with LBS), and management services to efficiently create a healthy and sustainable business ecosystem for both business and consumers. ChinaNet will additionally have a revenue sharing model with the business zone.
"We are pleased to be contributing to this unique pilot project to boost commercial occupancy rates in Chinese real estate," said George Chu, Chief Operating Officer of ChinaNet Online Holdings. "With our expertise and branded services, we will also help guide and nurture these new businesses to profitability using our Business Direct 3.0 solutions. If the project is successful, we plan to duplicate this same model with other real-estate developers in China."
Zhilang will also leverage Huaqiao University for selecting student entrepreneurs to build, market and run a portion of the franchise businesses in the zone. Zhilang will give entrepreneurial guidance to Huaqiao's students with this first-of-a-kind project, such as brand planning, brand management and brand channel expansion. Zhilang and Huaqiao University are in discussion to jointly conduct an open recruitment to employ the student run management teams. ChinaNet will also inject a certain percentage of funds to support the student-run establishments and ongoing operations.
The project can be viewed through WeChat with an ID number: HuadaNumber 1 Street.
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.
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.