The Huffington Post, with its mix of online news, gossip and opinion, launched a German edition Thursday, vowing to be among the top five German information portals within five years.
Based in Munich, where it opened a newsroom with 15 journalists with media partner Tomorrow Focus, part of the Burda publishing group, the site will also target the Austrian and Swiss markets.
Contributors will include tennis legend Boris Becker, German Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen, and art collector Nicolas Berggruen, owner of the Karstadt department store chain.
The portal's editorial director is Cherno Jobatey, a former ZDF public television moderator.
Editor-in-Chief Sebastian Matthes wrote that Huffington Post Deutschland would be part of the global network, "a kind of CNN of the future, with more than 700 journalists worldwide".
The free-access Huffington Post, founded by Arianna Huffington in 2005, and now part of media giant AOL, mixes professional journalism and user comments in an interactive platform.
The US-based site already has local versions in countries including Britain, Canada, France, Italy and Spain.
The Huffington Post has drawn criticism from journalists, including in Germany, because it does not pay contributors.