The firm's software converts web text into voice reports for mobile gamblers A provider of Chinese translation software hopes to reach profitability by supplying soccer betting information and ring tones to mobile phones. The primary business of KanHan Technologies is providing software that translates web pages from simplified to traditional Chinese and vice versa. Its software also converts text on the web to voice. But KanHan - which means the ability to read the Han language, Chinese - believes it can turn around its money-losing business by extending its technology to more lucrative markets, such as soccer betting. 'The Sars epidemic limited our ability to sell products to our customers,' company founder Lawrence Mo Wai-min said. In 2002, KanHan posted a profit of $3.7 million but lost $4.3 million in the first three quarters of last year, which the company blamed on the Sars outbreak. KanHan believes it can leverage its text-to-voice software into a service that will take soccer betting information distributed over the web and make it accessible by phone. Last month, it launched a pay-per-call service available in Cantonese and Putonghua, and reportedly is in talks with mobile-phone companies including Sunday Communications. KanHan, however, would be competing with other information services, but it believes its product is superior because information can be supplied in 'real time'. The company has signed a conditional memorandum of understanding with China Telecom and hopes to launch its soccer betting information service on the mainland in the second or third quarter. Other mainland opportunities include the ring-tone market. Its service allows users to download 'true music files' to their mobile phones to create ring tones. KanHan has launched a ring-tone service with distribution provided by 21CN.com, the mainland's fourth-largest internal portal. Users download music in the MP3 format to their handsets. KanHan expects to generate an additional $15 million this year from soccer-betting services, and a further $9 million from ring tones. KanHan's shares, which are listed on the Growth Enterprise Market, have soared 450 per cent to a close of $1.10 on Wednesday since hitting a low of 20 cents in August last year.