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Rumor: Shanda Invests Eight-Figure RMB Sum in Goapk

Netease Tech, 6/14/11

A source at Chinese Android BBS and app download website Goapk.com told Netease Tech that the site had received an eight-figure RMB investment from Chinese online media provider and game operator Shanda Interactive (Nasdaq: SNDA), increasing the site's valuation to over RMB 100 mln. Through their new partnership, Shanda will provide a certain amount of help to Goapk with marketing and other efforts, but Goapk will continue to operate independently.

The site's Android app store has partnered with a number of mobile brands, including Samsung, Motorola, LG, Huawei, and ZTE (0763.HK; 000063.SZ). Goapk also developed a custom Chinese-localized Android ROM featuring tight OS integration with Goapk, which it distributed to "shanzhai" (knock-off) Android handset vendors last year, resulting in an increased user base for the site. As of March 2011, the Goapk.com application market had served more than 100 mln downloads, with averages of more than 1 mln downloads per day.

Goapk also offers the "ROM Factory" service, which allows users to custom-build OS ROMs for their handsets to add custom modules including startup screens, UI themes, version information, built-in software, and fonts.

Keywords: mobile application shanzhai Shanda investment valuation wireless BBS Android SNDA app store Goapk mobile OS black market

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