Cari Internet Sdn. Bhd. is a Malaysian company founded in 1996. It operates the eponymous website Cari.com.my, the country's first search engine and web portal, along with online florist Flowers.com.my and web hosting service Onnet. Cari Forum, a multilingual internet forum, is a particularly popular portion of its website, and has been reported to be Malaysia's largest internet forum.
Cari was founded by Liew Chew-Keat (柳树吉). It was unique for its early provision of trilingual services: English, Malay, and Chinese. After its founding, Cari grew to become one of the country's top ten web portals, while maintaining tight control over costs. It received RM2.5 million (US$657,808) in venture capital funding from AKN.com in 2000 in exchange for a 15% stake, which was later transferred to Swansoft Technologies. The bursting of the dot-com bubble actually aided Cari's cash flow, allowing it to cut advertising spending from RM450,000 in 2000 to just RM50,000 in 2001. However, it was still not profitable in 2001.
In 2003 Cari Internet announced the rollout of its in-house developed electronic commerce platform, which partnered with local payment system Commerce Payment Sdn. Bhd. In 2008, it announced a partnership with local restaurant search startup FoodStreet, founded by local technologist and foodie Aidan Lee.
In 2000, Cari Internet had a legal dispute with Catcha.com and considered suing the latter for copyright infringement. In 2008 Cari Internet was taken to court over postings made in its forum which allegedly defamed a manager of the Malaysian Chinese newspaper Kwong Wah Yit Poh. Cari had refused to answer three letters from the manager alleging defamation and demanding that Cari disclose the identities of the posters who made the comments. The High Court at George Town ordered Cari to disclose the requested information and pay court costs for the complainant.
Traffic and rankings
According to Effective Measure October 2010 rankings, cari.com.my was the 19th-most popular website among Malaysia's 17 million internet users. Alexa Internet's rankings placed it slightly higher at #16. Their forums attracted roughly five million unique visitors each month as of 2009[update], 70% on the Chinese-language version.
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