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Chinese firm plans cable, sat networks

HONG KONG — China Aerospace Intl. Holdings Ltd. today announced plans to spend HK$535 million ($69 million) to develop cable and satellite broadcasting networks in China.

The Hong Kong-listed arm of the Chinese state-run rocket maker, China Aerospace Corp., said it has a long-term strategy to refocus the group toward the “high-tech consumer sector in China, where it has substantial technological and regulatory advantages over domestic and foreign competitors.”

The money is coming from a share subscription of 223.2 million new shares, which will increase the company’s capital base by 20%.

The group has identified the use of MPEG II digital video broadcasting standards to develop a cable broadcasting in the immediate future and DTH satellite television broadcasting in the long term.

The company said is has already signed a letter of intent with a local broadcasting authority in one of China’s provinces to develop an optical fiber digital cable broadcasting network. About 20% of the net proceeds of the share subscription will go toward developing the network, which will then be developed to include multimedia and data transmission functions such as Internet access and e-mail.

The proceeds will also be used to start manufacturing and selling digital receiving decoders and to establish an educational broadcasting station.

In the longer term, the group said it intends to develop a satellite television network, using its existing ground base facilities, and technological assistance and satellite access from China Aerospace and foreign operators. It added that the satellite network will compliment the group’s cable broadcasting network.

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