Chinadotcom Expands Ad Representation to TV

In an effort to offer advertisers cross-media marketing opportunities, Hong
Kong-based chinadotcom’s hongkong.com division has formed a joint venture
with Shanghai Xinhua Yatai TV Production Company (Yatai Shanghai), a
subsidiary of the Shanghai branch of the Xinhua News Agency — which is an
investor in chinadotcom.

The joint venture will have the exclusive right to sell advertising during
finance-oriented TV programming produced by Yatai Shanghai, allowing the
chinadotcom sales team to bundle the TV programming with its own finance
channels.

“The finance vertical is a key strategic opportunity for us, especially in
the tough market climate,” said Peter Yip, chief executive officer of
chinadotcom corporation. “We believe that our deep penetration of this
vertical will enable us to capture new, profitable revenue streams. Yatai
Shanghai’s links with our shareholder, Xinhua News Agency, enhances its
ability to produce high-quality financial programming for the growing number
of investors in Mainland China. As China enters the WTO, we believe that
ventures like Yatai Shanghai will thrive by providing much-needed market
information.”

The ability to package advertising deals across different media channels is
growing increasingly important for Web publishers, as giants like AOL Time
Warner begin to offer advertisers one-stop shopping encompassing interactive
and traditional media. Chinadotcom initially dipped its feet into the waters
of traditional media with the acquisition of travel trade print-publishing
group TTG Asia, based in Singapore.

With this most recent deal, chinadotcom aligns itself with a production team
that’s previously produced programming — including “Listed Companies in
China” and “Hua Din Finance” — which were broadcast to more than 50 cities
in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

This move toward becoming a cross-media company follows chinadotcom’s June
decision to get out of the ISP business — dropping its license to run AOL’s
Hong Kong service and leaving it to AOL to operate. Chinadotcom had been
running the service on AOL’s behalf since launching in September 1999.
According to a report in the Hong Kong Economics Journal, AOL has decided to
terminate the service as of July, rather than continue to run it itself.

Chinadotcom has been suffering the same woes that are plaguing U.S. Web
publishers. In late March it said it would sell, cut back, or close non-core
operations in Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan, China, Japan
and the U.S. The company also said it would consolidate existing offices and
reduce staff — ending the second quarter with 417 employees fewer than it
had at the beginning of the year.

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