PostNet, the electronic publishing division of the South China Morning Post, notched what is believed to be a Hong Kong record of over 7.9 million hits to its SCMP websites during the handover period from June 30 to July 1. The SCMP 1997 Handover Website ( http://www.hongkong97.com.hk ) attracted 6.5 million hits during this period while the regular daily SCMP Internet edition ( http://www.scmp.com/news ) attracted another 1.4 million hits. In all, the SCMP 1997 Handover Website and the daily SCMP Internet edition attracted more than 18 million hits between June 22 (when the handover site launched) and July 8. Chris Justice, manager of PostNet, credited the success of the handover site to his staff and the site's four main sponsors, AT & T, Compaq, Microsoft and Intel. Microsoft gave its latest Internet broadcast software NetShow 2.0 its Asian debut on the site, enabling the delivery of streaming video and audio. AT & T provided multiple T1 connections to mirror sites in San Francisco, which were mirrored to Vancouver. In Hong Kong and Singapore, local Internet service providers mirrored the site on their servers. Compaq provided high-end Proliant 2500 servers powered by Intel Pentium processors at the mirror sites. 'Each of the sponsors brought their strengths to the projects and applied a lot of resources to get it in place quickly and to make sure it was done properly,' Mr Justice said. He said the exposure the Post gained during the handover was significant, as the site was recognised as Microsoft's Website of the Day, a first for a Hong Kong company. It was also awarded the WebCam of the day award. 'The handover generated an extraordinary amount of traffic to the SCMP and much of that was new exposure,' Mr Justice said. 'Secondly, it highlighted the SCMP's ability to cover breaking news accompanied by interviews which featured video and audio. We had our people out with video cameras and they came back and quickly edited the footage. The reporters would write up the story and we put it on the website as quickly as possible. 'We also had RTHK's live television core- feed on the site, broadcasting for more than 30 hours. That was a first for the newspaper, extending the way that it covers news,' he said. The SCMP handover site will remain online until August 31. It has news and video highlights of all major handover events. A full- text commemorative CD-ROM with audio and video coverage will be available shortly.