Xinhua's television arm seeks ad gains
China Xinhua News Network (CNC) aims to generate substantial income from advertising in five years, even though CNC, launched two years ago, has yet to profit from advertising.
In December, the television arm of Xinhua injected the assets of its Asia-Pacific channels into Hong Kong-listed Tsun Yip, a waterworks engineering firm.
Last week, Tsun Yip changed its name to CNC, 'based on the company's new business direction'.
'We hope the revenue [from the media business] will exceed that of Tsun Yip's water utilities,' said Wu Jincai, deputy editor-in-chief of Xinhua and president of CNC. 'Tsun Yip's profits amount to about HK$12 million a year. I am confident we will do better than that.'
Wu said CNC did not start an advertising service in the past two years because its brand was new and its influence limited.
'But now that our TV programmes have entered 57 countries and regions, the time is ripe,' he said.
CNC would not rely fully on advertising and would also seek revenues through conferences and related activities, Wu said.
The mainland is investing heavily to portray a positive national image abroad. To that end, Confucius Institutes have been set up in more than 100 countries to teach Putonghua, while state-owned media organisations, such as China Central Television Station and China Daily, are aggressively expanding overseas. Wu had earlier been quoted as saying that a stock market listing would help boost CNC's reputation as a competitive, self-financed modern enterprise.
CNC would be the priority platform for mainland firms and the government to build their international image, SWS Research, a Shanghai-based securities research institute, said in a report.
The report said CNC's future business outlook was promising, but noted that 'it has not yet produced revenue and does not have a track record'. Wu said without elaborating on CNC's revenue target: 'We believe the potential of the advertising market in the mainland is huge. We hope CNC will make television history and reap substantial advertising revenue in five years.'
Xinhua has 162 overseas bureaus, compared with 37 for the BBC and 42 for CNN.
Wu said Xinhua's vast global network would enable CNC to produce enough content for its 24-hour news service, and unlike other rival news channels, CNC would not broadcast too many talk-show programmes.
'We convey information through on-the-spot pictures,' he said. 'Compared with other television stations, CNC has less opinion and more real news.'
CNC's Putonghua channel started broadcasting on January 1, 2010, while its English-language channel started on July 1 that year.
Both channels target viewers from around the world, broadcasting through satellite, cable networks, the internet and other platforms.