CyberWorks attacks 'media-perpetrated myths'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 12:00am

Battered telecommunications firm Pacific Century CyberWorks yesterday attacked what it called media-perpetrated myths about its activities.

Alex Arena, deputy chairman of the firm's executive committee, condemned a report by the Bloomberg news agency last week that suggested CyberWorks staff lacked operational experience, which he claimed left company workers feeling 'insulted'.

'I think the thousands of dedicated PCCW people that have provided quality, world class . . . telecoms services in this city for decades have just cause to feel insulted by these allegations that they lack operational experience and are somehow second class,' Mr Arena said in a speech to foreign investors and local media.

In a report entitled 'Telstra takes key posts in venture with CyberWorks', Bloomberg quoted a Singapore fund manager's views that CyberWorks' management team were not 'telecoms people' as evidence that the company lacked technical experience among senior executives.

Mr Arena claimed that the story, dated May 10, was a 'classic offender', which had been published unquestioned by other media in Hong Kong, Australia and beyond.

But Bloomberg hit back at the claims. Sue Hill, Bloomberg Hong Kong bureau chief said: 'We will stand by our story.'

In clarifying myths about its joint venture with Australia's Telstra, Mr Arena rebutted reports CyberWorks had yielded control of them, ruling out the possibility CyberWorks would look to exit the joint ventures.

'If our competitors want to believe in myths, that is their business and best of luck to them,' he said.

He added investors and objective commentators should put their faith 'in fact, not fiction'.

CyberWorks has attracted negative press coverage in recent months as its share price has fallen sharply.

It closed yesterday at HK$2.67, down from a peak of HK$28.50 early last year.