Netvigator Malaysia's closure confirmed

It's confirmed. Netvigator Malaysia together with its sister sites in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada have shut down effectively today.

KUALA LUMPUR--It's confirmed. Netvigator Malaysia together with its sister sites in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada have shut down effectively today.

However, the Web sites will remain functional until July 31st to allow Netvigator members numbering about 20,000 here, to download and archive their email and homepages hosted on these sites.

In an exclusive interview, Netvigator Malaysia vice president Lawrence Lee said that the current economic climate had stifled community-based portals like Netvigator which relied on the B2C model to generate revenue. The portal had initially wanted to make money by three methods--online advertising, e-business consultancy and e-commerce.

"But since our launch here in May, the uptake had been slow and revenue started to dwindle," Lee said adding Netvigator Malaysia could only manage to entice a couple of paid advertisers on the site.

He said the portal's staff numbering 11 people, have been compensated "fairly". The former employees can also make use of the Netvigator office here to help them find jobs as the company will only vacate the Petaling Jaya office in mid-August.

Lee said the sites were shut down by its owner PCCW as they were not seen to add value to the Hong Kong-based Internet player's overall portal strategy.

PCCW also has another presence in Malaysia via a joint venture with Australian telco Telstra offering Internet data center services based out of the Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC).

PCCW Hong Kong executive vice president for B2C Asia division Dominic Leung had informed Netvigator employees this morning of the sites' closure which is consistent with the company's global B2C restructuring program.

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