One of the pioneers of the Internet in the mainland has launched a company that aims to provide e-commerce for traditional industries. Digiark Information opened for business at Beijing's new American Club on the fourth floor of the China Resources building close to the city's main diplomatic area. Chief executive officer Tian Jie headed Raid Online, one of the first mainland Internet service providers (ISP). Digiark has registered capital of US$5 million, a mixture of foreign and local investment. It aims to provide complete, low cost e-commerce services for traditional businesses that lack the technology, trained professionals and Internet skills. It is also developing software, Digital City, that will provide non-keyboard Internet access to a business e-map of Beijing, and Digital Library, to transform books into retrievable digital information. Mr Tian said: 'By 2005, 6.58 per cent of China's population will be on-line, one of the largest Internet markets in the world.' He said that although the Internet in the mainland was banned to foreign investors until it joins the World Trade Organisation, two new Web sites were launched every day in Beijing with foreign investment. He said four mainland companies had listed on the Nasdaq over-the-counter board without clearance from the China Securities Regulatory Commission or a licence from the Ministry of Information Industry: two ISPs - Cathay Online and Xin Net - and two ICPs, Intermost and Forlink. Mr Tian said laws and regulations governing the Internet were confusing and access to the Net was too expensive.