Nearly 17 months after entering the Asian market and laying out plans for a 10-country network, portal company Lycos Asia has sacked about 100 people, accounting for 75 per cent of its regional staff, and plans to manage content through two main offices in Shanghai and Singapore. According to Singapore-based company official Andy Pe, Lycos Asia had decided to focus on 'key markets in Singapore, Hong Kong and China' and the centralisation was aimed at helping the company eventually achieve profitability. 'As part of this exercise, portals in South and Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and India will be serviced from . . . Singapore. Portals in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China will be serviced from our North Asia regional centre in China.' Content for each country would still be localised, Mr Pe said. A handful of sales and administrative staff remained in each of the satellite offices and more than one hundred remained throughout the region. In Hong Kong, about 30 employees had been sacked and just four retained, while 60 people had been sacked in China leaving 40 with jobs, sources said. They also said the Thailand and Malaysia offices had stopped operating yesterday. Mr Pe denied rumours Singapore Telecommunications had withdrawn from the 50-50 joint venture which had originally been capitalised at US$50 million. Earlier this year, Lycos Asia paid about US$13 million to buy Myrice.com - a mainland network of more than 30 youth-focused portals - to establish a presence in China. Lycos Asia had already shed some staff over the past year.