Tiantian Online, the broadband portal 40 per cent owned by the mainland's No 2 fixed-line carrier, China Netcom, is seeking additional investment as it expands its online content. The portal went live in February with 500 million yuan in start-up capital. Netcom is the largest shareholder, followed by venture capital firm IDG, with a 30 per cent stake. Other domestic and foreign investors, such as Japan's Softbank, hold the remainder. IDG managing partner Quan Zhou said Tiantian, as an early-stage company, would probably court valued-added investors who could help grow the business. 'We're looking for all kinds of partners,' he said, adding that revenue was just 'a few million yuan per month', mostly from e-commerce services. One key area is the broadcast business. Tiantian will need the help of third-party content providers to fill its menu of programmes and movies delivered over high-speed internet lines. Netcom has about six million broadband customers, primarily in the north, although any internet user with a broadband connection can access Tiantian's content, which includes online games, instant messaging, valued-added mobile-phone services and interactive voice response services. One company looking to do business with Netcom is Hong Kong's dominant fixed-line player, PCCW. Last week, PCCW said it was in talks with Netcom on a joint venture and analysts have focused on the possibility of the two setting up a broadband business in southern China. 'The broadband market is just taking off. Any co-operation with mutual benefit is welcome,' chief executive Johnson Wang Cheng said. According to a recent Morgan Stanley report, there were 17.4 million broadband users in China at the end of last year. The figure is forecast to reach 32.9 million this year and 43.8 million next year. Tiantian has 21 channels, covering areas such as news, finance, cars and property. On Wednesday, the company announced it had received a government licence to broadcast programming over the internet. 'We believe the licence can help us expand,' executive president Mao Zhao said. Tiantian competes with China Telecom's China vNet broadband portal, which also offers movies, music videos and programmes. Mr Mao said Tiantian had previously worked with internet service providers to aggregate audio and visual content and would expand its partnerships to include independent production houses and television stations.