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CCTV Investment May Impact Pac Century's Net Cable Bid

Talks for an alliance between a Hong Kong broadcasting company and a Chinese government national television company could thwart Pacific Century's cable Internet strategy.

The possible tie-up between Hong Kong television company Televisions Broadcasting Ltd (TVB) and China Central Television (CCTV), China's state-owned national television company may play havoc with Pacific Century CyberWorks attempts to launch its cable Internet business in China, say industry analysts.

CCTV may take a stake in content rich TVB's Internet business in a bid to launch its own national satellite and cable Internet service, informed sources told asia.internet.com.

China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) oversees the operation of CCTV and controls access to the nations satellite and cable networks. All of CCTV's 8 channels currently use nationwide microwave network and satellite transmission systems to reach domestic and overseas audiences.

One analyst speculates that the mainland authorities may not warm to Pacific Century CyberWork's attempts to penetrate the market because the company has a western-style management and US IT giant Intel as an investor.

The Beijing authorities have indicated in the past few months that foreign investment in Chinese Internet companies was prohibited. The most articulate speaker on the foreign Internet ban has been Wu Jichuan, who heads the Minstry of Information Industry, which controls China's communication industry including SARFT.