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Mail Online eyes Asia expansion

Mail OnlineThe world’s best-read news website, Mail Online, is looking to expand its operations into Asia, Mumbrella can reveal.

The English language website, which generates 180 million views a month with a mixture of news, celebrity gossip and picture galleries, is recruiting an international business development director to lead the push, Mail Online’s publisher Martin Clarke told Mumbrella.

The new recruit will be based in either London or New York, and will be tasked to appoint sales representatives or form joint venture partnerships with local media companies in the region.

Mail Online already has a large following in Asia, with India its largest market in the region – and fifth largest globally – with an audience of more than 3.5 million views a month. Malaysia and Singapore are the publication’s next largest Asian markets.

The British news site set up operations in Australia last year, building on an international presence in the US and Canada, through a partnership with digital media company Mi9 with the intention of becoming “the leading mainstream newspaper site in Australia”.

The news comes two months after the editor-in-chief of Singapore’s biggest-selling newspaper, Patrick Daniel, told Mumbrella that incoming competitors such as Mail Online would be at a disadvantage because they lack resources and local know-how.

He said: “Our strength is that we know our town best, it’s our territory. We have far more resources [than international competitors] to throw at a story locally.”

“Mail Online could come to Singapore and The Guardian could come, and they’d produce maybe one story a fortnight. But we will be here everyday,” he said.

But he added that competition is something that “we all have to get used to”.

Mail Online has a target of generating $100m in annual revenue from advertising this year, with ad revenue having grown by 63 per cent year on year, according to the company’s COO Rich Caccappolo.

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