Global Tech moves into sports on Net

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 January, 2000, 12:00am

Mobile-phone distributor Global Tech (Holdings) is to acquire a majority stake in a Chinese sports Internet company valued at $100 million, according to market sources.

The company, China Sports Programme Syndicating (CSS), is a 50-50 joint venture between sports broadcaster Lawrence Lo and South China Athletics Association chairman Albert Hung Cho-hong.

Global Tech plans to acquire about 51 per cent of the company from the founders to tap the lucrative Chinese sports-related e-commerce market.

Sources said Global Tech had reached an acquisition agreement with Mr Lo and Mr Hung late last week.

The actual price of the stake had yet to be finalised.

Mr Lo said previously CSS was worth up to $100 million.

This would mean Global Tech could be forced to pay more than $50 million.

The main businesses of CSS include a Web site, a television network, programme distribution, event promotion and sports management, and merchandising and licensing.

CSS is expected to launch the first Chinese-language Internet and TV network next month, delivering comprehensive, real-time sports information for the Greater China region and for overseas.

Supported by the All China Sports Confederation, under the State Council, CSS has been granted an eight-year operating licence for a countrywide sports network.

Transmission will be through China Education TV, one of only two TV networks covering the mainland.

China Sports Film and Television CSS will plan and produce mainland sports-related programming.

CSS will initially focus on developing its Web site and television network.

The company has estimated the portal can attract 20 million and 30 million viewers during the first year, which will provide the major driving force for the company's growth, adding synergy to its mobile phone business.