Intel chief executive Craig Barrett is due in Hong Kong next Tuesday for talks with film and television executives about the role technology can play in entertainment. Hong Kong is fast becoming a magnet for Silicon Valley chief executives, with SAR companies eager to sign up for high-profile deals with their US counterparts. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates visited recently to announce a partnership with Hongkong Telecom, and Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang was here to mark a tie-up with SmarTone. Mr Barrett's visit was not expected to involve big deal announcements, Intel officials said, but was meant to demonstrate Intel's commitment to China and to expanding Intel products. Intel recognised, for instance, the rapid pace at which personal computer usage was growing in the mainland, they said. 'China is very close to becoming the second-largest computer market in the world after the US,' Mr Barrett said. 'Intel, like everyone else, is looking at China, has high hopes for the China market.' To promote the use of technology in entertainment, Intel is engaging Hollywood, the burgeoning Indian film industry and the Hong Kong film industry - the world's three largest - and seeks to develop relationships that encourage the industry to use more technology and to embrace new areas such as interactive content and e-commerce. In Hong Kong, Mr Barrettt will be joined on stage by Richard Li, chairman and chief executive of Pacific Century Group, and John Chu, president and chief executive of Centro Digital Pictures, the company that produced the digital special effects for Storm Riders , a Hong Kong hit last autumn. Pacific Century and Intel last year formed a 60-40 partnership, Pacific Convergence Corp (PCC), with ambitious plans to beam interactive content into homes using satellite technology. Intel's interest in the joint-venture project stemmed from the need to address the bandwidth problem, a key bottleneck in personal computing, Mr Barrett said. 'The basis for that relationship is the on-going concern of getting high-bandwidth to the end-user. PCC is a satellite-centric investment that allows us to address this problem,' he said. Asked why Intel did not link with a telecommunications company, Mr Barrett said established telecommunications companies were not always the quickest at implementing new technology. He said the project was still in the planning stage, but there was strong desire to put high bandwidth into homes. Mr Barrett's leadership of Intel has been characterised by bold moves into areas in which Intel previously had not been active. The company positioned its flagship product, the Pentium III, as a processor that improves the Internet experience and raises the standard on PC-based multimedia. Increasingly, special-effects companies that previously used expensive boxes to render movie scenes are choosing workstations running Intel's high-end Xeon processors. Several Intel boxes had a role in George Lucas' coming Star Wars prequel that is expected to rewrite the books on the role of movie technology. Intel's recent fascination with multimedia and entertainment industry did not mark any big change in strategy, Mr Barrett said. As processors got faster, Intel needed to create new markets to spur growth. 'Our basic challenge is one of continued growth. We will continue focusing on processor products,' he said. Intel also wants to be a key provider of processors for intelligent networking equipment. Besides China, the Asian market also is becoming increasingly important for Intel, with Asia-Pacific, including Japan, accounting for 30 per cent of its revenue - a fact not lost on Mr Barrett. 'The market in Asia will continue to grow.' he said. The biggest driver for growth in the industry was the Internet. 'Our vision of the Internet is a billion computers connected to a million connected servers and generating a trillion connected dollars,' he said. Within that vision, Intel sees lots of opportunities to sell its PC processors, as well as to create new processor lines for new devices.