Disney in China digital entertainment venture with BesTV

Wed Dec 4, 2013 7:54am EST

Balloons of Mickey Mouse are carried down main street at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, March 11, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Balloons of Mickey Mouse are carried down main street at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, March 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

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(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co and BesTV New Media are to form a digital joint venture in China as the U.S. company aims for a share of the country's fast-growing entertainment business.

The venture, which will have a registered capital of $4 million, will be 51 percent-owned by China's BesTV, with Disney's unit TWDC Shanghai Enterprises LLC taking the rest, the companies said in separate statements.

China's entertainment and media market is expected to grow to $148 billion by 2015 from around $120 billion in 2013, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' outlook for the global entertainment and media business 2011-2015.

"The China digital landscape and industry is expanding and changing exponentially," Stanley Cheung, Disney's managing director in Greater China, said in a statement. He said the joint venture with BesTV aimed to serve Chinese consumers across

multiple platforms.

The joint venture aims to provide family entertainment using both companies' technical and marketing expertise, Disney said.

BesTV, the digital media unit of the Shanghai Media Group, plans to invest around $8 million to develop content and marketing, it said.

BesTV said it has the largest new media outlets in China, including smart phones, mobile TV and online streaming.

Earlier this year, the Chinese Internet TV firm also formed a joint venture with Microsoft Corp with a registered capital of $79 million to focus on family games and entertainment.

(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in SINGAPORE and Bangalore newsroom. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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