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'Four screens' for Tencent under pact with CNTV

By Shen Jingting (China Daily)

09:12, March 22, 2012

Tencent Holdings Ltd officially entered the Internet television industry on Wednesday by launching an exclusive partnership with China Network Television, or CNTV, the online branch of China's dominant television broadcaster, the State-run China Central Television.

The move will help Tencent, the country's largest Internet company by revenue, extend its services for all "four screens"- computers, tablets, mobile phones and televisions.

The agreement might also offer the Internet giant a short cut to benefiting from the Internet TV market, analysts said. Tencent has fallen behind domestic rivals such as Baidu Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in the field of Internet TV.

As early as June 2010, Taobao.com, the consumer-to-consumer shopping platform of Alibaba Group, formed a joint venture with Hangzhou-based Wasu Digital Television Media Group, to provide Taobao services on TV.

That partnership allows customers to buy products listed on Taobao directly through TV.

Wasu and Baidu linked up in TV search services in July 2011, and the two companies plan to roll out the services in more than 100 Chinese cities in the near future.

"Internet TV would emerge as the next most promising Internet industry after the personal computer Internet and mobile Internet," Pony Ma, chief executive officer of Tencent Holdings Ltd, said at a news briefing on Wednesday.

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