PointCast Asia will push no more. The six-month-old content provider - a joint venture between PointCast Inc and Xinhua-controlled China Internet Corp (CIC) - says it will dissolve on July 1. CIC chief financial officer Keith Oliver said that 'as a result of recent economic developments in Asia, among other factors, PointCast and CIC were unable to finalise a definitive agreement to form a joint-venture company to operate the Asian edition'. It did not disclose the viewing rates for the PointCast Asia, but sources said lack of advertising and internal issues led to PointCast's demise. Management friction between CIC and PointCast was caused in part by CIC's partnership with Netscape to launch a Chinese-language site, the source said. 'That really freaked them [PointCast] out. At one point, Microsoft looked like it might take over PointCast.' The letter of intent was signed last February, when the companies announced plans to release English and Chinese versions of PointCast and establish a Southeast Asia office in Singapore. Only the English-language PointCast was realised. PointCast Asia was created as a regional offshoot of PointCast's original United States-based service. It uses 'push' technology to deliver personalised content - such as news, sports and business information - to users' screens in a screensaver format from providers including the South China Morning Post, Dow Jones and CNN. PointCast Asia's launch ceremony in December raised suspicions in the IT community when PointCast co-founder and then managing director Laurie Kan did not appear. He had sold his stake in the company and relinquished his position at PointCast. In March, Mr Kan resigned as CIC chief operating officer to head Timeless Software. PointCast had filed for an initial public offering last month, Business Week magazine reported. It quoted sources as claiming, however, that PointCast was seeking a buyer. According to news reports, News Corp had considered buying PointCast last year for about US$450 million. Mr Kan believed PointCast's IPO initiative was genuine, saying '[they] were working on the IPO all the time'. PointCast was the first leading US company to sign a deal with CIC, which runs the mainland-focused China Wide Web. CIC since has formed partnerships with Netscape and America Online, which it will help to establish as an Internet service provider in Hong Kong by next year. Its latest alliance, announced last week, is with California-based CyberSource. The plan is to offer electronic commerce services - such as multi-currency transactions and global rights and territory management - to on-line retailers in China, Hong Kong, and Asia. CIC and CyberSource said they would establish a data centre in the SAR this year.