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TheStreet Open House

Linktone Repositions Its Strategic Business Focus

Stocks in this article: LTLLTON

SINGAPORE, Jan. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Linktone Ltd. (OTCQB: LTONY, ASX: LTL) ("Linktone" or the "Company"), a provider of media and entertainment content and services in key strategic markets in Asia, announced today it is repositioning its strategic focus and refining its business vision. This multi-faceted initiative involves concentrating on high growth businesses in China and elsewhere, and transitioning away from telecommunication value-added services in China.

With regard to this initiative, Hary Tanosoedibjo, Chairman and CEO of Linktone, commented, "Our announcement today reflects the next phase of our business' evolution resulting from our detailed analysis of our core competencies and review of our extensive product portfolio. Given the increasingly challenging regulatory climate in the value-added services market in China coupled with the rapid penetration of smart phones which support a wide variety of other payment modes, we envisage the use of short codes as a payment gateway to be significantly adversely affected. Moreover, we anticipate that the traditional role of service providers as a gateway to content providers will continue to diminish because increasing numbers of content providers are securing short codes directly from the mobile operators, thus bypassing service providers like Linktone.

"On the other hand, our digital games business, Letang, and our parenting portal, www.fumubang.com, are demonstrating healthy growth trends. Letang, through Google Play, has extended its reach to many overseas markets, and Letang's single player games have gained encouraging popularity especially in Russia, Brazil, Mexico and South East Asia. Within China, Letang will continue to license popular intellectual properties and animation characters such as Boonie Bears to develop and distribute mobile online games. Our other digital property, Fumubang, launched in 2012, has been gaining significant momentum among parents in Beijing and Shanghai, and we have plans to replicate the growth in other major cities of China. We intend to make Fumubang 'the butler in every Chinese parent's pocket'.

"Outside of China, we remain focused on growing our social commerce and media content businesses.  Our online news and entertainment portal in Indonesia, Okezone.com, currently has over two million daily users, and we believe its popularity will continue to grow in this country of 250 million people. In addition, our subsidiary Innoform has established an e-retail business, Happybuys.com, which focuses on bringing popular entertainment related products to consumers worldwide at local prices and has been experiencing an increase in unique visitors and sales. 

"Our media content business operated by Innoform will also continue to create, license and distribute entertainment content across Southeast Asia and across multiplatforms, including our successful staging of a series of 'On the Ground' (OTG) family-focused events in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

"As such, the Board and I strongly believe that this strategic realignment of Linktone's business portfolio is essential for enhancing the future value of Linktone. We believe that by focusing our efforts and resources on our growing digital properties, we will solidly position our business to deliver higher returns to our shareholders."

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