FYI 4.28.2010

New Volvo Owner Geely Studies Export Market; Youku Gets Online FIFA Broadcast Rights; Mediabrands and Guangming Split; China Resources and Tsingtao Increase Investments in Henan

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Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. has no immediate plan to export its own brand of cars to developed markets, said Frank Zhao, the company's vice president for technology.

Geely will remain focused on the domestic market as well as some developing markets, he said today at a media briefing held at the venue of the Beijing motor show.

"Regarding [selling to] developed markets, I think that will be something a couple of years down the road," Zhao said.

But the company is studying those markets.

"We are watching those markets on technology progress and also legal requirements very carefully, but we don't have any closer structured plan," Mr. Zhao said.

Geely signed an agreement in March with Ford Motor Co. to acquire the Volvo car unit.

Mr. Zhao said Geely will make sure the operations of its own brand and the Swedish brand are kept separate. "Our chairman Li Shufu has made it very clear that Geely is Geely and Volvo is Volvo. That means a lot because we have totally different customer segments and different markets."
--by Yang Jian, the managing editor of Automotive News China, a publication of Crain Communications.

China Central Television (CCTV) and Youku.com, one of China's leading video-sharing sites, have signed a joint deal with FIFA that gives Youku.com online broadcast rights to all FIFA 2010 matches. CCTV has also granted rights to Youku.com for on-demand broadcast of CCTV's self-produced FIFA programs.

Youku.com's new World Cup Channel will be dedicated to broadcasts of matches as well as interactive activities for soccer fans. Programming will include match play, an extensive collection of highlights, and background information on teams. In addition, the Youku World Cup Channel will also broadcast all FIFA-related programming airing on CCTV.

Working with many of its over 2000 media partners, Youku will leverage both online and offline entertainment activities around the World Cup to encourage deeper participation from soccer fans.

According to the data provided by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), over 60% of Chinese netizens followed the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany online.

Mediabrands, the media division of Interpublic Group, is parting ways with its joint venture partner in China. Universal McCann (UM) will now operate independently under its own brand name. Until this year, UM operated as part of McCann Erickson Guangming. Initiative, meanwhile, has operated as a separate legal entity in China for the past five years. Guangming is still a joint venture partner with McCann Erickson in China, another Interpublic division.
In a move to better compete with China Resources Breweries in Henan province, Tsingtao Brewery is believed to be acquiring Henan Waysnow Beer, the second largest brewer in that province, according to local media reports. Henan Waysnow Beer produces 600,000 tons of beer annually, as well as 20,000 tons of wheat malt and 30,000 tons of other drinks.

China Resources Breweries has already agreed to acquire Yue Quan Beer, another major beer company in Henan province. Both brewing giants are trying to compete there with Jinxing Beer Group, the country's fourth biggest beer brewer with 20 plants nationwide.


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