China's Xiaomi delays TV set-top box due to government probe-media

SHANGHAI Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:51pm EST

SHANGHAI Nov 23 (Reuters) - China's Xiaomi Technology has delayed the launch of its television set-top box, similar to Apple Inc's Apple TV, after the country's broadcast regulator opened an investigation into the device, local media reported on Friday.

Xiaomi, known for its popular and inexpensive smartphones, said last week it was planning to launch its "Xiaomi Box" that would stream shows from Chinese online video sites as well as games, music and other applications.

On Friday, Sina Technology news reported that China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) was investigating the company because it did not have the license to provide content over a television set-top box.

The investigation is a set-back for the hot technology start-up whose smartphones, released in limited quantities online, are snapped up within minutes. Xiaomi counts on global investors for funding and was recently valued at $4 billion.

Xiaomi said via its official Xiaomi Box microblogging account that it will halt all content services from Friday due to maintenance.

Xiaomi's spokeswoman declined to comment, but forwarded comments from the company's chief executive, Lei Jun, who said at the launch event last week that Xiaomi will abide by the regulations and seek content licenses prior to the launch.

Officials with SARFT could not be reached for comment.

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