Advanced Television

SMG spin offs

June 1, 2009

Shanghai Media Group, China's second-largest broadcaster, is planning to spin off several units and list them over the coming two years, in a push for further reform of the country's state-owned media. Li Ruigang, SMG president, said the group, which is controlled by the Shanghai municipal government and had revenues of Rmb6bn ($875m) last year, was now seeking to introduce private equity investors in several of its businesses and take some public later.

China has privately owned internet companies and television content providers, but the government insists that all traditional media must remain state-owned.Beijing has said it will allow private investors a minority role in publishing. It has also started pushing print media groups to restructure to prepare for reforms that could allow some to list while other are to retain their role as mouthpieces of the government and the ruling Communist party. But broadcasting has so far not been included in the reform plans.

Li said "The group will be transformed into a holding company, and the affiliates will be independent." He added that animation and children's programming as well as home shopping would also be spun off.

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