The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:
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- Beijing Tianyu Communication Equipment has teamed up with the U.S. chip maker Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) to produce third generation phones, in a bid to tap into the upcoming 3G market in China, sources reported. Tianyu was granted a patent license by the U.S. company to develop, produce and sell the 3G handsets based on the CDMA 2000 standard in China. The two companies also expect to join hands to provide mobile products for the global market. The Beijing-based company expects to release more than 20 CDMA handset models next year. With the fast development of the 3G market worldwide, Tianyu is able to provide high-quality CDMA and WADMA terminals under the Tianyu brand. China Telecom (CHA) pledged to inject 80 billion yuan (US$60.2 million) on CDMA network upgrading and handset purchase.
- Telecom minister Li Yizhong predicts China will spend 280 billion yuan (US$40.9 billion) on 3G networks over next two years. China's wireless carriers will invest US$40 billion in advanced third-generation networks over the next two years, a top official said, in what could be a boost for China's domestic telecommunication-equipment industry. China, the world's largest mobile phone market by number of subscribers, is one of the last major telecom markets to adopt third-generation technology, which has higher data-transmission speeds that enable wireless video and other fancy services. The government said it would award 3G licenses to its carriers by the beginning of 2009, ending a years-long wait by equipment makers. The government would provide "strong support" to China's homegrown 3G technology, known as TD-SCDMA, which is being adopted by China's largest carrier, China Mobile Ltd. (CHL).
Media, Entertainment and Gaming
- Fosun International Limited has acquired about 13.3 percent stake in Focus Media Holding Limited (FMCN) through open-market trades. Fosun spent US$150.11 million on 17,267,078 American depositary shares during the period and may acquire more in the future. Fosun's announcement placed the unaudited book value of Focus Media's total assets, as of September 30, 2008, at about US$2.37 billion. Fosun International is involved in pharmaceuticals, property development, steel, mining, retail and financial services and investments. Focus Media announced on December 22 that Sina (SINA) agreed to acquire its LCD display network, poster frame network and in-store network through the issue of 47 million new ordinary shares. Focus Media keeps its Internet and movie theater advertising businesses and some billboards.
- Nineyou International Limited plans to begin open beta testing of its licensed Q-style 3D pet-themed MMORPG "Concerto Gate II" on January 9. The company plans to adjust experience points, the game's profession structure and virtual item prices in the game mall; optimize client ends and servers; and add new tasks and virtual items to the game. Systems for marriage, riding animals, social networking and guild fights will also be added to the game during testing. Nineyou will also hold an offline wedding party for in-game couples who plan to become real-life partners, an activity to select a game spokeswoman and prize giveaways for gamers.
- The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) announced its purchase of 1 million CMMB terminals including handsets, media players, positioning devices, USB keys and other products. Lenovo (OTCPK:LNVGY) , ZTE (OTCPK:ZTCOF), Beijing Tianyu Communication Equipment, UTStarcom (UTSI), Digital China, Samsung (OTC:SSDIF) and Datang Telecom were among the companies winning government contracts. Around 120 terminal manufacturers entered 400 terminals in the bidding; thirty-three handset makers were awarded contracts.
- The9 (NCTY) plans to start alpha testing of its in-house developed role-playing webgame "Jiu Zhou Zhan Ji" (9zwar) on December 26. The9 spent one year developing the game and is currently offering testing accounts on the game's official website.
- Chinese vertically integrated photovoltaic product manufacturer Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (YGE) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Yingli Energy (China) Co. Ltd., has received an eight-year US$70 million loan from China Development Bank to build PV cell production lines with annual capacity of 100MW. Yingli said the funds would help the company reach annual production capacity of 600MW in the third quarter of 2009.
- The government of Lixian, Hebei province has signed a cooperation agreement with an American new energy company that plans to invest 669.7 million yuan (US$98 million) in a polysilicon project scheduled to begin construction in February 2009, reports Solarbe.com. The project is expected to manufacture 1,000 tons of polysilicon per year after it begins production in December 2009 and generate annual sales revenue of 950 million yuan (US$139 million).
- LDK Solar (LDK) plans to recruit 10,000 employees in 2009. The company took on 6,000 employees between May and August and plans to hire 60,000 more in the next three years. LDK Solar is headquartered in Xinyu.
- Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP) is jointly constructing a 66MW on-grid photovoltaic project with Yunnan Provincial Power Investment and other investors. The 3.58 billion yuan (US$523 billion) invested project began construction in December in Shilin, Yunnan province and is expected to produce 7703.89 kWh per year when it begins generating electricity in 18 months.