It’s not even an accounting error for Microsoft, but a $12 million investment in Sichuan Changhong Electric, a Chinese TV set maker will give a push to Internet-TV convergence in China and in the rest of the world.
The idea is for the two companies to work together to develop products linking TV and the Internet.
“The project focuses on in-home network digital entertainment — how to connect PCs, TVs and the Internet to provide this digital entertainment experience,” Roger Chen, a Microsoft spokesman in Beijing told the AP.
The companies said the exact equipment they will make and – more importantly – where they will be sold – is yet to be determined, Microsoft said.
Changhong in not a tiny company; the $12 million buys less than 1 percent of the company. Changhong’s website says the company is 40 years old, has assets of $2.5B and 3,500 employees. It’s list of overseas partners includes Toshiba, Philips, Sanyo, GE and, of course, Wal-Mart.
It’s likely the IPTV connection will be explored first in China. The Internet is a key channel for movies and other programming in Chinese homes to avoid government rules that restrict the amount of foreign programming on Chinese television and its content, AP said.