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Chinese company to invest in Sierra Leone’s media

Chinese company to invest in Sierra Leone’s media

With comprehensive Digital Television in over 8 African countries, StarTimes Communication Network Technology, established in 1988 in China and which has also been playing the role of the most influential system integrator, technology provider and network operator in China’s broadcasting and television industry has expressed interest to not only invest its  financial resources  in Sierra Leone, but to also see how the average Sierra Leonean could have access to quality and affordable Digital television.  (Photo: Mr. Liu briefing the delegation on his company operations)

This was made know to officials from the Sierra Leone Embassy in China by StarTimes Vice President Charles Liu, during an official visit to the Headquarters of StarTimes at Jianguo Road, Chaoyang District, following an invitation extended to the Embassy’s Acting Head of Mission and its Press Attaché on Thursday, 1st March, 2012 by Mr. Charles Liu.

Briefing the team, the Company’s Vice President, Charles Liu informed that StarTimes started its first exploration in Africa in 2002 and that the company has constructed and operated digital television in 9 African countries and has developed over 830,000 subscribers in Africa.   He also informed, that based on the company’s integrative technical strength in analog, IP network and DTV technologies, StarTimes is a certified Hi-Tech enterprise that has been listed among “2008 China Top 100 Innovation-Oriented Enterprises” by the Chinese Enterprises Association.

The company, he went on,  has a vision of enabling every African family “afford digital TV set, to watch digital TV, to enjoy TV as well as share the beauty brought by Digital  television. On the strategy the company is using to meet this vision, he explained, that it is   by obtaining satellite communication technology and terrestrial DTV system, setting up and advanced broadband information platform to operate pay TV, Mobile Multimedia System, wireless internet business and terminal product sales and to provide digital signal transmission service for national and commercial radio and television institutions.

Elaborating on their operations in Africa, Charles Liu stated, that they have been operating in Rwanda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Guinea, Ghana, Uganda Central Africa Republic and Mozambique among other countries and that they have established earth satellite uplink stations in Tanzania, Nigeria and Slovenia. That, since Sierra Leone and China have been great friends for years, the company has decided to invest in Sierra Leone in the area of Digital television migration. He explained further that they have established a bridge with the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation, which has also showed interest in digitalization of television industry.

Embassy staff viewing StarTimes’ digital TV equipment

In his statement, the Acting Head of Mission, Sierra Leone Embassy, Paul Minah expressed gratitude to the Vice President of the company for inviting Embassy officials to their Headquarters and that such a visit was timely as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sierra Leone has   sent a letter of invitation to the company to visit Sierra Leone.

As an Embassy, he said, he was impressed with the presentation made on the company by the Vice President and that he was particularly happy that the company has not only catered for the Chinese audience but has also gone to Africa and Europe. Sierra Leone, the Acting Head of Mission said, “will make use of the opportunity that the company wants to provide…” Sierra Leone, he went on, today has a Leader in the person of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma that is action oriented and that providing digital television for every household in Sierra Leone will be an encouraging development for the country.

The Press Attaché, Mr. Minah said, has been in constant communication with the Director-General of SLBC, who has also been very instrumental in getting the company to extend its operations in Sierra Leone. He expressed hope that the company’s visit to Sierra Leone will provide the needed result for both the country and the company.

Both the Acting Head of Mission and the Press Attaché of the Embassy were taken on a conducted tour by the company’s senior management, to see the company’s facilities in two of the company’s five floors in a building housing over 20 floors. Meanwhile, a delegation from the company is expected to visit Sierra Leone later this month.  

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