New 701Search partner Telenor will add 'mobile muscle' to the media company

The addition of Norway telco Telenor as a partner in 701Search will help the media company build up its business, the company's other partners said on Thursday.

Telenor completed its acquisition of a third of 701Search on Tuesday, joining Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Oslo-listed Schibsted Media Group as equal partners in the media company.

Oslo-listed Telenor is Norway's leading telecommunications operator, with more than 150 million mobile subscriptions and mobile operations in 12 markets in the Nordic region, Central and East Europe and Asia.

Telenor's expertise in the mobile arena will be valuable to 701Search as it expands its business, said SPH chief executive Alan Chan.

He told a media briefing that almost half of the 701Search users in some key countries are already accessing its classified sites via mobile means.

He said: "Mobile is getting more and more important in this game... and we hope to bring the business much further with the additional expertise from Telenor."

Mr Chan said 701Search websites already hold the top spots in Malaysia and Vietnam and are No.2 in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Telenor's inclusion will add mobile muscle and a telco insider's perspective to an already thriving business.

701Search is a media company that specialises in building and growing online marketplaces in the region.

It was set up in 2006 with SPH Interactive International (SPHI) and Schibsted as equal partners, and operates online classified companies such as in Malaysia, in Indonesia, in the Philippines and in Vietnam.