Click2Asia.com, a new Los Angeles-based company that develops online communities aimed at the global Asian market, today will soft-launch its North American Internet presence.
The official premiere, expected next week, will be an American-version Web site presented in English, with eventual in-language rollouts of Click2China.com, Click2Taiwan.com and Click2Japan.com.
Click2Asia.com was formed, in part, by the recent merger between KoreaLink.com and the Asian Buying Consortium Web site, formerly located at ABCFlash.com.
The new vertical portal will initially address the interests and needs of Asians throughout the U.S. and Canada. Chinworth Yao, co-founder and executive vice president of business development at Click2Asia.com, said he expects the core audience for Click2Asia.com will be English-speaking Asian Americans in their 20s and 30s.
The site will feature news of interest to the Asian-American community, celebrity profiles, and entertainment channels with music and multi-player online games, among other products. An e-commerce area is expected to launch in fourth quarter and a premium paid area, which will feature personals and educational services, will roll out next year.
"The ultimate goal," Yao said, "is to eliminate language barriers and allow Asians to connect ... around the world." To that end, the company will eventually introduce a multi-lingual technology that performs real-time translation, allowing a user in a chat room typing in Japanese to converse with someone typing in Chinese.
"Traditionally, advertisers have targeted the Asian market through in-language newspapers," added Yao. "But the demographics of Asians in North America are changing."
While Asians represent only 3 percent of the American population, according to a report from Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research, 64 percent of those households use the Internet. Asian Americans collectively have the highest median household income among all groups that are online, and an estimated 41 percent of Asian-American households shop online, compared with 28 percent of the general population.
"It's a highly attractive audience for advertisers to target online," said Yao. "The statistics and the dollars thrown into the Asian Internet space is only going tocontinue an upward trend."