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Shanghai opens foreign language TV channel
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China's economic hub, Shanghai, on Tuesday opened its first TV channel that broadcasts in foreign languages.

International Channel Shanghai (ICS) is the first foreign-language TV channel in China that is not operated by China Central Television (CCTV), the state TV system. ICS will broadcast in English and Japanese, with Chinese captions. The organization didn't say whether other languages would be added.

The channel, run by the Shanghai Media Group (SMG), will serve the 2010 World Expo, to be held in Shanghai, to showcase the city's open image and serve visitors, said Jiao Yang, the city government spokeswoman. It will also benefit foreign nationals living and working here, she said.

The metropolis has 150,000 foreign residents and gets 6 million foreign tourist arrivals every year.

During the World Expo in 2010, visitors are expected to top 70 million, although that figure will also include domestic tourists.

The ICS programs, covering news, information, fashion, entertainment, foreign TV shows and movies, will be aired for 19 hours a day.

About 4.4 million Internet subscribers in the city can also watch the programs on their computers through Internet Protocol Television.

CCTV now operates channels in English, French and Spanish across the country.
(CRI January 2, 2007)

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