FYI 09.09.2009

NatGeo Creates Chinese Site With Sina; Lee Kai-Fu Resigns From Google; Ruder Finn Relocates Mai Tran to China; Metan Launches Hollywood Show in China; Tribal DDB Hires Charles Fong in Hong Kong

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National Geographic Digital Media (NGDM) and Sina.com, one of China's leading portal sites, have partnered to deliver National Geographic-branded content, translated into Chinese, on http://geo.sina.com.cn. The content will cover wildlife, natural history, travel and culture, science, space and the environment, particularly material that highlights local Chinese conditions and customs around the world.

National Geographic's partnership with Sina "complements" the National Geographic Society's "existing media endeavors in both television and print," said John Caldwell, president of NGDM, the multimedia division of National Geographic Ventures.

National Geographic magazine is published by Trends in China, and National Geographic Channel programming, such as "Wild Weekend" and "Wonderful Earth" is broadcast on Chinese television.
Lee Kai-Fu, president of Google's operation in Greater China, has resigned to found a venture capital fund called Innovation Works, helping high-tech start-up companies in China.

The Taiwanese native set up Google's operation in China four years ago. Although Google is popular among white-collar executives, it still lags far behind Baidu.com, the No. 1 search engine in China. Google has also found it hard to cope with the strict censorship issues facing all internet sites in China under the leadership of the Communist Party.
Ruder Finn has relocated Mai Tran to Beijing as exec VP of its health and wellness practice in Asia. Previously, she was managing director of the PR firm's business in France. Ms. Tran spent five years in China earlier in her career, from 1995 to 2000, as managing director, China of PR International.
Metan Development Group premiered "Hello! Hollywood," its first production China, this week to a potential audience of 200 million viewers on channels such as China Satellite TV as well as online audiences on Sohu.com, a major Chinese portal, and PPLive, a peer-to-peer social networking site.

The weekly 30-minute show, a co-production with The Hollywood Reporter, features entertainment news and celebrity gossip in Mandarin.

"These shows are not simply knock-offs of traditional U.S. entertainment news shows," said Metan's VP of production, Rick Portin. They are "responsive and sensitive to the Chinese audience and culture."

"Western brand managers will find in our programming a very comfortable avenue and an efficient and unique way to reach Chinese consumers with their advertising messages," said Jean Zhang, managing director of Metan's operation in China.
Tribal DDB has appointed Charles Fong as senior account director in Hong Kong, where he will lead the Omnicom Group agency's digital teams working with brands such as Philips, KLM, Air France and Tourism Australia.

Previously, he was business diresctor at Interpublic Group's direct marketing division, MRM Worldwide, in Beijing. Before that, he worked at Euro RSCG's digital department in Hong Kong.


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