Profiling the Games' major backers. ; This week: Beijing Gehua Ticketmaster Little is known about Beijing Gehua Ticketmaster Ticketing, the exclusive ticketing service for the Games, except for its central role in a major fiasco - the meltdown late last year during the second round of ticket sales. The first-come, first-served system collapsed moments after the tickets went on sale, angering millions of mainlanders and forcing officials from the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Bocog) to make an embarrassing public apology. After that, organisers went back to randomly allocating tickets through a lottery, which proved trouble-free in the first round but can be described, at best, as opaque. As the name suggests, Beijing Gehua Ticketmaster is a joint venture of Ticketmaster, one of the world's biggest ticketing companies, and Gehua Culture Development Group, a monopoly cable TV service provider in Beijing. The China Sports Industry Group, an offshoot of the State General Administration of Sport, also has a minor stake. The company's mission is to provide one-stop ticketing services to Bocog, the Games organiser, including technological support, order management, sales and distribution, customer service and the creation of box office outlets. The job is so important that Bocog rates it as the top priority for Olympics' revenue. Bocog lauded the company as having 'not only the most advanced technology, but also the most powerful, flexible and broad operational ability and professional staff'. Those claims were demolished on October 30 as 8 million mainlanders tried to buy tickets online, via a telephone sales hotline or at 1,000 branches of Bank of China. The company oversaw a computer crash that wiped out millions of ticket requests. Eight million clicks a day, technically speaking, should be easy to handle, but the multimillion-dollar computer server of Gehua Ticketmaster proved unable to handle the 'excessive heat of enthusiasm'. The crisis was the first major failure in Bocog's Games preparation, but it did not publicly blame Gehua Ticketmaster. Instead, Bocog apologised to the angry public and removed its own ticketing chief - a government official - from his responsibilities. Gehua Ticketmaster was established by the end of September, 2006. In less than a month it became the exclusive ticketing service supplier of the Beijing Olympic Games. There was no bidding for the contract. No one knows why Gehua secured the deal. Some of the explanation may be found in Wang Jianqi , general manager of the company as well as president of the Gehua group. There has been speculation that he is a protege of Jia Qinglin , chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Gehua Ticketmaster does not have a website and requests to the Gehua Culture Development Group for an interview were rejected.