Amazon Investment May Portend Move Into Asia

SAN FRANCISCO (02/18/2000) - Inc. has made a minority investment in Basis Technology Corp., a U.S. firm that helps Internet companies localize their products for Asian markets.

Amazon said the deal will help it expand its popular online retail service into local markets around the globe. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Basis Technology provides technology and services that help companies localize their products for overseas markets. The company specializes in preparing products for Japanese, Korean and Chinese users, suggesting that Amazon may be eyeing Asia for its next expansion move.

Besides its online store in the U.S., Amazon currently operates two international stores in the U.K. and Germany, at and

Amazon did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The investment signifies the importance of rapidly growing overseas markets to the future of e-commerce, according to Carl Hoffman, founder and chief executive officer of Basis Technology. In less than two years, it's likely that more than half of the users on the Internet will speak a language other than English, Hoffman said in the statement.

As part of the deal, Rick Dalzell,'s chief information officer, will join Basis Technology's board of directors., in Seattle, can be reached at +1-206-346-2925 or at Basis Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is at +1-617-252-5636, and on the Web at

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