China TV digitalization slows

Smart card shipments drop in June due to uncertainty

HONG KONG -- The pace of digitization in the Chinese television market has slowed, according to set-top box supplier China Digital TV.

The number of smart cards shipped by the U.S.-listed company dropped from an anticipated 2.35-2.55 million to 2.13 million in the three months to June 2009. Cable operators have delayed upgrading from analog to digital "due to uncertainties resulting from ongoing consolidation in the cable industry and the present lack of mature value-added services for digital TV platforms," it said in a statement on Friday.

"While the availability of credit from domestic banks has improved in recent months, in the near term we expect some operators will maintain a wait-and-see attitude towards digitalization," company president Dong Li said. But he added that the government has committed the country to full digitization by 2015.