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MySpace launches Japanese version

Fourth language version starts today

News Corp has launched a Japanese version of its MySpace social-networking service.

The site, which has grown to become one of the most popular destinations on the English-language Internet, is already available in national versions for Australia, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK. The Japanese service becomes the sixth national version and fourth language version of the service.

MySpace Japan will be operated as a joint-venture between News Corp and Softbank, according to a report in the Monday morning edition of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper. The two companies didn't offer any comment on the newspaper report. Softbank is a large Internet and communications conglomerate in Japan and its operations include Yahoo Japan, number-three cell phone operator Softbank Mobile and the Yahoo BB broadband provider.

The service will go up against a number of competitors, chief of which is Mixi, which claims around 6 million members. The company behind the site, Mixi Inc, debuted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in mid-September.


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