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SMG subsidiaries join to create Chinese Internet, TV giant

Shanghai Media Group (SMG) is to merge its digital media arm BesTV, Microsoft’s Chinese partner, with its Shanghai Oriental Pearl division to create a huge new Internet and broadcasting company.

Rapid TV News reports part of its extensive restructuring plan, the Chinese media giant SMG will have a 45.07% stake in what is expected to become the largest Chinese online media group. It will be called the Shanghai Oriental Pearl New Media Company, according to a BesTV statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

BesTV already covers more than 20 provinces and cities in Mainland China and South East Asia with a new media business portfolio including IPTV, Internet TV, smart TV, over-the-top (OTT) video and mobile TV.

Its parent SMG merged with Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group, Radio and Television Shanghai in March 2014, becoming China’s largest provincial media group with more than US$7 billion in assets.

It now wants to expand overseas, with offices planned in Silicon Valley to develop Internet technology and adapt it for the Chinese market.

“SMG will have a series of global cooperation and exploration ventures. Our ambition is not limited to the group’s restructuring but also about building a new image for Chinese media,” Li Ruigang, head of SMG, told the magazine Caixin – of which he is also Chairman.