And China Unicom Open Co-Branded Cell Phone Store GMAI-Asia's Stores to Participate in the Launch of China Unicom's CDMA Network WEST CALDWELL, N.J., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Greg Manning Auctions, Inc. (Nasdaq: GMAI) announced today that subsidiaries of its 45% owned investee, GMAI-Asia, have entered into cooperation agreements with China Unicom Limited's (NYSE: CHU) Shanghai and Suzhou Branches. Under these agreements, GMAI-Asia and China Unicom will jointly open additional co-branded stores/service centers in the East China cities of Shanghai and Suzhou. These centers will include in a single facility a GMAI-Asia owned store at which customers may purchase cell phones and accessories, and a China Unicom service center at which China Unicom customers may pay their cellular telephone bills and manage their China Unicom cellular telephone, internet service and other China Unicom accounts. The first such facility opened in Suzhou on December 8, 2001 and the first Shanghai center is scheduled to open before New Years. In October, 2001, GMAI-Asia entered into an agreement with the Shanghai Branch of China Mobile (NYSE: CHL), China's other leading cellular telephone service provider, to open co-branded iAtoZ.com/EBT - China Mobile stores in Shanghai. The first of five planned iAtoZ.com/EBT - China Mobile stores opened in November, 2001 on Wu Ning Road in the Putuo District of Shanghai. Present at the grand opening and official ribbon cutting ceremony were several officials of China Mobile, including the deputy general manager of China Mobile's Shanghai branch Cai Gui Bao, and several members of GMAI-Asia's board of directors, including Greg Manning from the United States and Juan Antonio Cano and Esteban Perez from Spain. GMAI-Asia is the only company to have co-branded sales facilities with both China Unicom and China Mobile. Under the agreements with China Unicom announced today, GMAI-Asia subsidiaries and China Unicom will open additional co-branded stores in Suzhou and Shanghai and pursue multiple joint marketing initiatives. Additionally, GMAI's stores will participate in the roll-out and marketing of China Unicom's new CDMA cellular service network, scheduled to launch in January, 2002. This participation will include selling CDMA network accounts and SIM cards, selling CDMA cellular telephones, and joint marketing initiatives. In an unrelated announcement, GMAI-Asia disclosed today that its Board of Directors has directed the company's management to vigorously pursue mobile virtual network operator ("MVNO") opportunities in China. The Board believes that the company's market position as the largest retail distributor of cell phones in China's largest and most affluent population Center, Shanghai, combined with the company's strong relationships with both of China's leading cellular service providers, China Mobile and China Unicom, and its network of owned stores that is more than twice the size of its nearest competitor provide GMAI-Asia with a strong foundation to execute a successful MVNO either on its own or in partnership with another company. Management has been directed to study the market, identify potential partners, and develop a plan of action. A preliminary investigation has been completed with positive results. Additionally, GMAI-Asia announced today that in order to meet working capital and other cash requirements of the company during 2001 and the first half of 2002, Afinsa Bienes Tangibles S.A. ("Afinsa") loaned the company US$ 4.4 million pursuant to two convertible promissory notes. Afinsa currently owns 19% of GMAI-Asia and its officers hold two of GMAI-Asia's 6 board positions. About GMAI-Asia GMAI-Asia.com, Inc. is a Delaware corporation 45% owned by Greg Manning Auctions, Inc. The company owns 65% of, and exclusively manages, the iAtoZ.com/EBT chain of cell phone stores headquartered in Shanghai, People's Republic of China (PRC). The remaining 35% of iAtoZ.com/EBT is owned by Everbright Technology Limited, a publicly listed company (SEHK: 256), an affiliate of the Everbright Group, LLC. iAtoZ.com/EBT is the largest merchant of cell phone handsets in the entire PRC, and the 42nd largest chain store in the PRC (all products). GMAI-Asia also owns iAtoZ.com, one of the PRC's leading electronic commerce companies and a leading cyber-merchant of cell phones and other communications products, and holds a mandate from the PRC' Bureau of Internal Trade to build and operate a B2B exchange and website for China's automotive industry. About Greg Manning Auctions, Inc. Greg Manning Auctions, Inc. (GMAI) is a global collectibles auctioneer and merchant, with both Internet and live auctions and operations in North America and Asia. In North America, GMAI is a leading traditional and electronic -- Internet, interactive telephone, and Internet and live simulcast -- auctioneer and merchant/dealer of collectibles. Coins, stamps, sports cards, Rock 'n Roll and Hollywood memorabilia, and affordable fine art are offered at http://www.gregmanning.com and http://www.teletrade.com. Greg Manning Direct, a wholly owned subsidiary, creates and mass-markets high interest collectibles, targeting beginning collectors. Statements in this press release that relate to future plans, objectives, expectations, performance, events and the like are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Future events, risks and uncertainties, individually or in the aggregate, could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Those factors include the parties' abilities to develop, implement, integrate, and launch the services and offerings described herein, and other factors discussed in the "forward-looking information" or "risk factors" sections included in the companies' prospectuses, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and annual reports on Form 10-K. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X38147375 SOURCE Greg Manning Auctions, Inc. -0- 12/17/2001 /CONTACT: James Reiman of Greg Manning Auctions, Inc., +1-973-882-0004/ /Web site: http://www.gregmanning.com http://www.teletrade.com / (GMAI CHU) CO: Greg Manning Auctions, Inc.; GMAI-Asia; China Unicom Limited; China Mobile ST: New Jersey, China IN: TLS REA SU: -0- Dec/17/2001 17:18 GMT
Greg Manning Auctions, Inc.'s GMAI-Asia
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