Thursday, December 28, 2006

China Mobile, News Corp. make deal for mobile music

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and China Mobile Communications Corp. (China Mobile), the world's largest mobile operator, will launch a joint mobile music service, Chinese media reported Saturday.

The deal marks the second agreement between the two companies this year, and a potentially important step in News Corp.'s largely frustrated efforts to crack the Chinese market.

In June, News Corp. sold about half of its stake in Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Corp. Despite some of its personalities becoming stars in China, Phoenix still has not received landing rights in China outside of limited areas such as hotels and foreign diplomatic compounds, although its signal is downlinked illegally in residential complexes around the country.

The two sides gave few details except to say that they would launch the music service, for which News Corp.'s Channel V music video station would produce related shows, reports said.

The new service, which was not named will compete with other fee-based music sites in China, including Motorola Inc.'s MotoMusic, currently China's largest.