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SPH Launches Breakthrough Mobile Technology

The revolutionary ZapCode is set to bring a new level of mobile engagement and interactivity and change the way consumers access information

Singapore, 26 January 2007 - Zap! If media giant Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) has its way, this is all that people will need to do when they want to retrieve information instantly on their mobile phone.

What makes this possible is the advent of ZapCode, which is essentially a colourful, high-tech advance over the familiar black and white barcode. A user needs only to point the camera on his mobile phone at a ZapCode icon and click. When installed on a mobile phone or PDA**, the free award-winning software reads and deciphers the ZapCode and triggers the sending of data back to the device. Zap! It´s that simple.

"The marketing and communication opportunities which ZapCode opens up are mind-boggling," says Mr Leslie Fong, Executive Vice President of Marketing, SPH, which had through its subsidiary, SPH NewMedia Pte Ltd, signed an agreement today with ColorZip SEA Pte Ltd (CZSEA), the company which holds the rights to this patented technology, to become its master distributor and licensee in Singapore.

"For example, a department store may have a ZapCode printed in an advertisement. Any reader who wants more information or pictures or even a video of other items not shown in the ad has only to zap the code and these will be transmitted within seconds to his mobile phone.

"Or a dog owner can have a ZapCode embedded in a tag around the neck of his pet so that if it strays from home, any finder of the lost animal needs only to zap the code to learn whom to contact. The possibilities are endless.

"What’s more, the codes can be zapped from more than five metres away (depending on your camera) -- and at low resolution -- which means they can be on signboards, posters, billboards, lamp posts, bus panels and whatever outdoor media one can think of. I can get all excited just talking about this remarkable fusion of print and mobile phone technology."

SPH NewMedia is set to promote the use of ZapCode in Singapore through an intensive marketing campaign.

"Our aim is to make it a part of life in high-tech Singapore. Over time, we want these codes to be everywhere, in newspapers, on T-shirts, signages, name cards, birthday cakes, and so on, and zapping them will become as natural as breathing," says Mr Fong.

CZSEA will provide free download of the deciphering software to users´ phones, via SMS, WAP or the Internet, and will also work closely with SPH New Media, telecommunication companies and mobile phone manufacturers to ensure that new models will come with the software pre-installed.

Not only does its colourful matrix and patterns make an appealing design statement, there is also no limit on the amount of information the code can offer since it is linked to a server, which is where the data resides. This makes it a great medium for interactive content, audience participation and user tracking, enabling publications and advertisers to connect, inform and interact with their users.

Mr John Moore, CEO of CZSEA, says: “This revolutionary technology is set to define a whole new generation of social and cultural behaviour. ZapCode will be the next cultural icon of the modern world.”


** ZapCode works on most models. For full list of these phones and how to download the free ZapCode software, go to www.colorcode.com.sg.



Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

William Tan
General Manager
SPH NewMedia Pte Ltd
DID: 6319 1628
Email: tankkw@sph.com.sg

Juliana Chong
Manager
Corporate Communications Division
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
DID: 6319 1895
Email: julianac@sph.com.sg

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.7 million individuals or 83 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes over 90 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 100 million pageviews with 6 million unique visitors every month. SPH’s online and new media initiatives include its recruitment and job search service, ST701, and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.

SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 in English. In addition, SPH holds an 80 percent stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium at Thomson Road.