GE wins $160m Olympic contracts

And other news in Greater China

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BEIJING--General Electric Co. has won contracts worth $160 million for projects related to the 2008 Olympic Games, such as generation and distribution of electric lighting, water treatment services and security.

The decision reflects GE’s status as one of the International Olympic Committee’s 11 “The Olympic Partner” (TOP) sponsors. The global sponsors paid tens of millions of dollars to associate their brand with the prestigious sporting event as well as pursue lucrative business opportunities surrounding the games.

For an industrial giant like GE, that means big business to help build the infrastructure supporting the event, as well as business-to-business marketing opportunities. GE ultimately hopes to win $800 million in contracts for the upcoming Games in Beijing. The operating budget for the Games is estimated at $2 billion.

Linktone partners with medical-based outdoor media company
SHANGHAI--Beijing-based Linktone Ltd., a provider of wireless interactive entertainment products and services to consumers in China, has signed a partnership with China Health Media, an out-of-home ad company.

China Health Media, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijing Yan Huang Health Care Network founded in 2004, operates a network of audiovisual television displays in Chinese health care facilities, such as hospitals and medical clinics.

It provides daily medical and health care information to more than 1,000 hospitals with over 6,000 LCD screens throughout 35 provinces in China. Total daily traffic on its advertising network surpasses 5 million viewers. CHM expects to ramp up coverage in the near future, boasting more than 6,000 hospitals with 80,000 LCD screens located throughout 60 cities in China by 2008.

Under the terms of the agreement, Linktone will be the exclusive operator of short-messaging-service (SMS) and interactive voice response (IVR) voting platforms for China Health Media’s interactive trivia questions and games, according to Linktone CEO Michael Li in Beijing.

WPP acquires stake in local agency Raynet
BEIJING--WPP Group has acquired a 49% stake in a local Chinese agency, Beijing Raynet Advertising Co. The agency was founded in 2001, and now has offices in Beijing, Shenyang and Changchun employing 131 people.

Through clients such as China Netcom, Liaoning Mobile, Liaoning Netcom, Mengniu Dairy and Shanghai Xinjiegou, it generated $4.8 million last year in unaudited revenues.

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