Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Hong Kong-China/Foreign Media Giants/Disney

CNN Money: For Disney, it's a small world after all, A new Hong Kong resort could give Walt Disney a foothold in the lucrative Chinese market

"Disney's expansion into the lucrative Chinese market could give the company a leg up on its competitors, some say. "This raises awareness and gives Disney a physical presence in China," said Laura Martin, an analyst with independent research firm Soleil – Media Metrics. "It is a great beachhead for promoting the Disney brand."

"To that end, Martin thinks that the most important role of the park will be in creating more interest in Disney's vast library of movies and other products tied to its stable of cartoon characters. And during Disney's fiscal third-quarter earnings conference call with analysts last month, Iger stressed how important it is for Disney to establish a foothold in China."

"Growing up in United States in the 50s, I remember how Disneyland was a beacon to many of Americans and it still is. I firmly believe Hong Kong Disneyland will similarly be a beacon to millions of people in Hong Kong, mainland China, and throughout southeast Asia. It should stimulate great interest in Disney, and provide a dependable growth platform in that region of the world," he said.

Read also Mediachannel/NY Times: Disney Takes Exception to China's Media Rules

China/Advertising Markets

AdAgeChina: Agencies bullish on growth, but execs on the ground in China warn of "speed bumps"

"The phenomenal pace of China’s economic development has been reflected by steady growth in its advertising market. Between 1980 and 2004, China’s TV ad spend grew almost 440,000% (compared to 384% in the U.S., for example) to nearly $11 billion this year, making it the world’s seventh-largest TV market, according to ZenithOptimedia."

"Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Group, was one of the first ad industry execs to recognize the potential of China’s ad market and his early investments have already paid off in scale. Greater China is the company’s fifth-largest market, and one where WPP has a 15 percent share. Its MindShare division, for instance, is the largest foreign-run media agency in China with billings worth $780 million."

"Mr. Sorrell believes China can replace Japan as the region's biggest market by 2008. While his predictions about China’s growth rate are debatable, he is by no means alone in his enthusiasm about China’s potential."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Asia/News Media/ Differencies in Consumption TV favourite choice of Asians amongst media for news (Synovate study)

"While TV remains the news media staple, one in ten Asians now access weblogs on a weekly basis for news and current affairs information according, to a study released by the market research company, Synovate."

"However, the taste of consumers differ from country to country. Indians prefer the lighter side of life with entertainment (61 per cent) their other preferred subjects are sport (56 per cent) and current affairs (55 per cent). While Thais love their politics (56 per cent) and Filipinos are most interested in financial news (38 per cent)."

"With regards to the emergence of personal online diaries known as 'weblogs', one in 10 respondents access weblog for news information. In India, however, weblog have yet not gained popularity amongst consumers. Synovate Media Research Asia Pacific director Steve Garton states that the survey provides a detailed look at consumers' preferences for news media and content and the way in which news connects people to the broader community."

Asia/International Newspapers/IHT

MarketWatch: Oreskes tries to keep the IHT relevant

"I think the Trib has really taken its game up a notch in Asia," Brian Bremner, the Hong Kong-based Asia Regional Editor of BusinessWeek, pointed out. "The coverage is generally more original and enterprising than in years past," Bremner said, "when it was primarily a repository for foreign copy out of the New York Times and Washington Post, without a great deal of thought about what readers in Asia really wanted or needed."

"The IHT is printed at 30 sites and is sold in 180 countries. Its circulation has dipped from 269,000 in 2002 to about 241,000. According to the IHT, 157,000 are represented by its Atlantic edition and another 83,000 stem from the Asia/Pacific paper."

Southeast Asia/Media Tycoons

Gulf Daily News (Bahrain): Media tycoon is East Asia's richest person

"Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok, whose vast empire includes media, hotel and mining properties, is Southeast Asia's richest person with an estimated wealth of $5.3 billion, Forbes magazine said. Malaysians and Singaporeans dominated the list. Kuok had also topped last year's inaugural Forbes roster of the region's wealthiest individuals."

"The 82-year-old Kuok increased his estimated wealth by $1.2bn over the past year as he reaped huge returns from investments of more than $5bn in China's booming economy, the US business publication said.Collectively, the region's wealthiest 40 individuals were worth more than $62bn, up $15bn from last year, Forbes said."

"Malaysia's Ananda Krishnan, who owns cable TV operator Astro and phone company Maxis, remained number two with a net worth of $5.1bn. Third was Singaporean hotelier Kwek Leng Beng, whose wealth is valued at $4bn."

China/Foreign Media Giants/Business Ethics

BBC News: Firms face moral dilemma in China

"The Chinese economy is exploding and it is increasingly becoming an attractive new place for both on and offline firms to do business. But for media and net based companies setting up a business in China also means adhering to local rules, including tight state controls of the press and restrictions governing what websites can say."

Hong Kong/Free Dailies

Asia Media: Free dailies take a bite of broadsheets' ad pie

"The popularity of the city's three free dailies is affecting the advertising revenue of the more established Chinese-language newspapers, according to a new survey. The newspaper scene became more crowded this summer when Sing Tao News Corp's Headline Daily and property agency boss Shih Wing-ching's am730 hit the streets in July."

"Together with the Metro, which launched in April 2002, the three free tabloid newspapers are competing for readership and advertising revenue with broadsheets such as Oriental Press Group's Oriental Daily News and Next Media's Apple Daily."

"According to the survey conducted by research firm Synovate in the first three weeks of last month, Metro, Headline and am730, achieved significant market shares of 16 per cent, 18 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.Headline's readership was 893,000 and Metro's was 820,000 - both have average circulations of about 400,000 copies.Am730's readership was 401,000 from a circulation of 260,000, the survey showed."

China/Internet/New Regulations

Asia Media: China tightens controls on Internet

"China is imposing new regulations to control content on its news web sites, the government said yesterday, another step in its ongoing effort to police a rapidly expanding Internet population. The rules, issued by the Ministry of Information Industry and the State Council, China's cabinet, will "standardize the management of news and information" in the country, the official Xinhua News Agency said. They take effect immediately, it said."

"The report did not give any details on the regulations but said sites should only post news on current events and politics. It did not define what would be acceptable under those categories. Only "healthy and civilized news and information that is beneficial to the improvement of the quality of the nation, beneficial to its economic development and conducive to social progress" will be allowed, Xinhua said."

Japan/Asahi Shimbun/Fabricated Report

The Japan Times: Scandal claims key Asahi, industry exec

"The Asahi Shimbun's executive adviser said he will step down from his post and resign as chairman of the Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association to take responsibility for a fabricated report published in the daily. The incident "tarnished the trust and honor of journalism as a whole," Shinichi Hakoshima said, adding he would leave the chairman's post after the association's annual convention, which will be held on Oct. 18 and 19."

"The Asahi Shimbun revealed in late August that a reporter at its Nagano bureau had fabricated a story of a meeting between Nagano Gov. Yasuo Tanaka and former Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Shizuka Kamei to discuss founding new political parties, which was reported by the newspaper.The Asahi Shimbun issued an apology over the fabricated story and explained the circumstances behind them. It has also fired the reporter."

Monday, September 26, 2005

India/PR/Country Images Abroad

The India Times: 'India is branded poorly in the West'

"The government and business lobbies responsible for pushing trade and attracting foreign investment have done a rather poor job of branding India, experts from a visiting EU delegation contended. 'India is not being branded well as an attractive investment option and the people responsible for doing this have done a bad job of it,' said Neena Gill, chairperson of the Asia delegation in the European parliament."

Asia/Advertising Markets

GameDailyBiz: Global ad spending up; Asian market hot

"Advertising market momentum has remained uneven in different parts of the world and the entertainment industry, according to a slew of latest reports and forecasts published. Carat, a unit of London-based media buying and marketing services firm Aegis Group, on Tuesday slightly increased its 2005 global advertising spending growth forecast from 5% to 5.2%, citing continued strength in Asia that is making up for weaker-than-thought trends in big European markets and an in-line performance in the U.S. The Asian advertising market continues to expand, and Carat predicts that at current growth rates, its size will eclipse that of Europe by 2008. The main driver on the Asian continent remains China, which entertainment companies have increasingly tried to target."

See also:
China, Central Europe and the Internet Drive Ad Spend

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Taipei/Foreign Media Giants/Bloomberg/Business Journalism

PRNewsWire: Bloomberg Chairman Inaugurates New Taipei Office
"Bloomberg, the leading global provider of data, news and analytics, today announced
that Bloomberg News has expanded its bureau in Taipei, Taiwan. The news bureau,
headed by Bureau Chief James Peng, is in a newly opened Bloomberg facility in
Cathay Xin Yi Trading Center."

"The opening ceremony today was conducted by Peter T. Grauer, Chairman and
President of Bloomberg LP. ' Taiwan has grown into one of the top 20 markets for
the Bloomberg Professional(R) service, reflecting the rapid development of
the country's financial markets,' Mr. Grauer stated. Bloomberg has averaged
a growth rate of 23.3 percent over the past two years in Taiwan, he added."

China/Foreign Media Giants/News Corp.

FT: Murdoch says China ‘paranoid’ about foreign media

"Rupert Murdoch has worked hard to avoid offending Chinese leaders ever since he earned their ire with a 1993 declaration that satellite television posed an 'unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere'."

"But now Mr Murdoch appears to be ready to take his diplomatic gloves off again. At a conference in New York on Friday he admitted that News Corp had 'hit a brick wall' in China and accused Chinese authorities of being paranoid about foreign media."

"The comments were the most public and direct expression of dissatisfaction yet by an international media mogul at China's reluctance to open what is the world's largest untapped media market."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

China/Copyright Violations/Pirated Goods

CNET: The copyright challenge in China

"Signs of China embracing global market rules abound, from Beijing's decision to loosen its currency's peg to the dollar to the willingness of Chinese companies to pursue acquisitions abroad."

"But one thing never seems to change, and it's as obvious on street corners today as it was six years ago. In 1999, when "Star Wars Episode 1--The Phantom Menace" debuted, it was quickly pirated on DVDs that sold throughout China for next to nothing."

"The problem affects virtually every industry, from films to software to drugs to auto parts. What's more, as China's exports have surged in recent years, so have counterfeit exports. About two-thirds of pirated goods seized by U.S. Customs come from China. Though it's difficult to place a value on financial losses, the U.S. Trade Representative estimates that counterfeiting worldwide costs American companies around $200 billion to $250 billion per year, with China likely responsible for the majority of those losses."

Monday, September 12, 2005

China/Foreign Media Giants/Yahoo!

FT: Yahoo admits role in China dissident case

"Jerry Yang, Yahoo co-founder, has confirmed that the US internet portal assisted Chinese authorities' action against a local journalist jailed for leaking state secrets, but said it had no choice."

"Yahoo's has been criticised by media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders for its role in the case against Shi Tao, a Chinese reporter jailed for 10 years in April apparently for revealing information about a crackdown by Communist party propaganda officials."

China/Foreign Media Giants/Disney

FT: Disney plans retail expansion in China

"Walt Disney plans to almost triple the number of retail outlets in mainland China over the next five years as part of an expansion that includes Monday's opening of Hong Kong Disneyland."

"The US entertainment group aims to open more than 5,000 outlets on the mainland over the next half-decade, up from about 1,700 now, according to Andrew Mooney, chairman of Disney's consumer products division."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

China/Foreign Media Giants/Yahoo!

CNN :Group: Yahoo aided China

BEIJING, China (AP) -- A French media watchdog said Tuesday that information provided by Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc. helped Chinese authorities convict and jail a journalist who had written an e-mail about press restrictions.

The harsh criticism from Reporters Without Borders marks the latest instance in which a prominent high-tech company has faced accusations of cooperating with Chinese authorities to gain favor in a country that's expected to become an Internet gold mine.

Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo and two of its biggest rivals, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN, previously have come under attack for censoring online news sites and Web logs, or blogs, that include content that China's communist government wants to suppress.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

China/Marketing Services

FT: WPP buys Hong Kong’s iPR for China expansion

"WPP, the marketing services group, has underlined its determination to expand in China by buying a controlling stake in Hong Kong-based financial communications company iPR Asia. WPP’s revenues in China grew 22 per cent in the first half of 2005 and were expected to reach US$325m to US$350m for the year. WPP’s global revenue rose 6 per cent in the first half."

Monday, September 05, 2005

Asia/Foreign Media Giants/Viacom Frank Brown quits MTV Networks Asia Pacific

"MTV Networks has announced that after a long tenure of 18 years with the company, Frank Brown has decided to leave his post as President, MTV Networks Asia Pacific."

"MTV Networks Vice-Chairman Bill Roedy said, 'Frank has been a leading force in building our international businesses since joining the launch team in Europe 18 years ago when we set up our international operations. In Europe, he drove the creation of a pan-regional advertising market, enabling MTV Networks Europe to consistently exceed business plan.' "

"' Since he moved to Singapore to create MTV Networks Asia Pacific in 1994, he has launched 20 MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon channels and has forged important partnerships for the company across the Asia-Pacific region.' MR Roedy adds."

India/Pay TV-markets India fastest growing pay TV market: Fusion Consulting

"Asia Pacific's pay revenues stood at $25 billion in 2004 with heavyweights Japan, India and China accounting for 65 per cent of the total earnings in the region, according to Fusion Consulting estimates."

"The pay television subscribers numbered 205 million, 85 per cent of whom came from these three countries. Korea accounts for a further five per cent. "Over 90 per cent of the pay TV subscriber market resides in just four countries - Japan, Korea, China and India. But each of them are at a different stage of development," says Fusion Consulting, Singapore head of the media industry practice Peter Read."

"India is the fastest growing and the “most exciting” market in the region, easily outpacing that in China and Japan. Projecting a compound annual growth rate of close to 10 per cent, Fusion Consulting expects India’s pay TV subscriber households to approach 70 million by 2010, up from 50 million at the end of 2004. "The market continues to attract operators, programmers and distributors, despite chaotic infrastructure and confusing regulations," says Read."

Friday, September 02, 2005

Asia/Business Magazine/Forbes

FT: Forbes launches edition for Asia

"Forbes, the US media group, this week launched a pan-Asian edition of its US business journal to be published in English bi-weekly.The debut of the Asian edition, with an initial circulation of 80,000, follows the launch of Korean, Chinese and Japanese-language editions of Forbes. Forbes Asia replaces the Europe-targeted Forbes Global, aimed primarily at European readers, as the only other English-language edition of the group’s US flagship."

China&India/The Leading Newspaper Markets India second largest newspaper market

"India is the second largest newspaper market in the world, not surprisingly, behind China. About 78.8 million copies of newspapers sold in India daily, compared to 93.5 million in China, according to World Press Trends 2005, was released by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) recently."

"According to the report, after China and India the largest newspaper markets are in Japan, with 70.4 million copies daily; the United States (US), with 55.6 million; and Germany, 22.1 million. Sales of newspapers increased in China, India and Japan in 2004, but declined in the US and Germany."

"It has been an extraordinarily positive 12 months for the global newspaper industry," said Timothy Balding, director-general WAN. "We have come to expect big circulation gains in developing countries, but it has been a very long time since we saw such a revival in so many mature markets. Newspapers are clearly undergoing a renaissance through new products, new formats, new titles, new editorial approaches, better distribution and better marketing."