AOL to Sell 64 Percent China TV Stake to Li Firm

U.S. media titan AOL Time Warner is selling a 64 percent stake in its China TV unit to a firm backed by Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing for US$37 million, Li's tom.com said on Wednesday.

AOL's decision to sell its controlling stake in China Entertainment Television (CETV) continues a pullback from China by the media giant, which held out big hopes for the market when it won the right to broadcast in the province of Guangdong. It was seen as a beachhead for an expansion to reach China's estimated one billion-plus viewers.

By keeping its stake in the venture, AOL has found a powerful ally in the world's most populous media market. The partnership is one in a new generation of alliances forming between western media companies eager to tap the China market and well-connected local partners.

CETV is bleeding red ink and has managed to capture just two percent or less of the market in the southern city of Guangzhou after a year and a half of operations, analysts say.

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News source: Reuters

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