Intel invests $12 mil in Shanghai Media Group


SHANGHAI -- Intel Capital, Intel's global investment group, has invested $12 million in the Shanghai Media Group for the development of the media conglomerate's broadband TV services, SMG said late Thursday.

The investment is Intel’s third this week in China since the April 8 launch of the $500 million Intel Capital China Technology Fund.

"Our past experience has proven that Chinese new media, represented by broadband online TV, is transforming the traditional media industry," SMG president Li Ruigang said.

Shanghai Media Group Broad Band operates audio and visual programs over the Internet.
China had 69.8 million broadband Internet users by the end of February, according to China’s Ministry of Information Industry.

China had about 210 million Internet users at the end of 2007, according to China Internet Network Information Center, and by some estimates is now the world’s largest Web market, surpassing the U.S.

"The investment from Intel will be used for technology cooperation and product research and development," the broadband division’s spokesperson Yirong Qian told The Hollywood Reporter.

Details about specific projects were not available, she said.

SMG's cooperation with Intel Corp. dates back to June, when the two companies partnered for the development of wireless broadband and mobile delivery of high-definition TV programs.

The other two Intel investments from the new fund are for Shanghai-based online gaming platform provider Holdfast Online Technology and Beijing-based Newauto Video Technology, maker of video, network and system integrations equipment for TV stations across China.

According to Intel, all funds will be invested in wireless broadband, technology, media and telecommunications that help expand Intel's technology market segments in China.

"Given the success of the original China Fund -- with investments in more than 28 companies -- it is time to renew our commitment," said Cadol Cheung, managing director of Intel Capital Asia Pacific.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel Corp. is the world largest maker of computer chips. State-owned Shanghai Media Group is China's No. 2 broadcaster, after China Central Television.

Reuters contributed to this report.