Sina.com Launches Online Airline Tickets Site For Taiwan

Taiwan’s political fate may still be hanging in the balance, but its e-commerce capabilities are keeping pace with the rest of Asia. Tuesday, leading Chinese language network, Sina.com, announced that it has teamed up with a Taiwanese travel agency to sell airline tickets on its Taiwan site.

The company said that the first 500 tickets for travel to Hong Kong sold out in 30 minutes. Sina.com said that it had received 2000 inquiries for the tickets, marking its first e-commerce foray into Taiwan as a success.

“We are excited to be at the forefront of e-commerce in Taiwan and Greater China. With 600,000 airline tickets sold every month, there is a tremendous demand for online ticket services in Taiwan,” said Sina.com CEO, Jim Sha. This is just our first step into e-commerce in Taiwan and Sina will continue to expand its e-commerce services to meet the fast-growing needs of our consumers.”

Sina said it split the profits with the travel company, Yulin Travel Service. Yulin supplies the tickets and handles all customer service duties related to online ticket sales. The site, Sinwa, offers discounted prices for international tickets, the company said.

Building an International Network

Sina.com calls itself the premier destination for Chinese communities worldwide, a claim that could be disputed by China.com, AOL, Yahoo! or any of the other companies trying to establish a foothold in the world’s largest potential market.

The company has sites in China, Hong King, Taiwan and North America which are produced and updated daily by local content providers. Its registered user base has grown from 10,000 to one million in two years and it received close to 200 million page hits a month.

Sina.com launched in April, shortly after the merger between Sunnyvale, California-based Sina.net and Beijing, China-based Stone Rich Sight Information Technology Co. Ltd.

It completed a $25 million round of financing in May, and in June it was named the number one site in China in a survey of 15,000 online users. Last month, the company said it was the first site in China to register one million page views a day, averaging some 2.8 million views over the month.

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