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Canadian Media Giant Eyes Mainland Market

Overseas media companies are eying the Chinese market as Hong Kong-based Sun Wah Media and Canada's Rogers Broadcasting Ltd yesterday announced a new joint venture -- SW Rogers Media Ltd -- to distribute Rogers media products in the Chinese mainland.

All Rogers media products that are going to be distributed in the Chinese mainland are subject to receipt of all necessary governmental approvals, said Leslie A. Sole, chief executive officer (CEO) of Rogers Media of Canada.

"This new venture is being created to develop new types of television and other media products for the people of China and the people of Canada," Sole said.

"We certainly share the enthusiasm of Rogers about our new joint venture focused on the Chinese media market, and are confident that our two companies can establish a very formidable presence in the mainland," said Sun Wah Media President Douglas Hui.

According to Hui, the joint venture is expected to conduct business first in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, then enter into other regions of the mainland.

In its preliminary stage, SW Rogers has chosen to focus on distributing a documentary that deals with the thoughts and feelings of Chinese living abroad, called Mandarin Planet.

Future projects on the horizon include developing the DVD market in the mainland, expanding retail networks, increasing interaction between Chinese mainland television and radio channels, establishing a Chinese edition of a Canadian magazine and introducing Rogers' Shopping Channel to Chinese viewers.

Sun Wah Media, a subsidiary of Sun Wah Group, has interest in a number of businesses including multimedia communications.

It has produced several television drama series, each with a production cost of approximately 30 million yuan (US$3.6 million), magazines and other media-related products.

The company established its subsidiary in Beijing two years ago and distributed its products in the mainland, according to Sun Wah Media Chairman Jonathan Choi.

(China Daily April 27, 2004)

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