Casbaa China Roundtable 2001 focus on dealings with regulatory bodies

The 5th Casbaa China Roundtable in Beijing and Shanghai, held between 11 and 13 September, attracted significant support from government officials, mainland operating companies and Casbaa members over two days of briefings and information exchanges. The central thread running through the discussions was how to facilitate dealings with the regulatory authorities in China.

The Casbaa China Roundtable 2001 was organised in association with Casbaa members Claydon Gescher Associates (CGA) and MediaView. The event was sponsored by Casbaa member PricewaterhouseCoopers and endorsed and supported by pay-TV regulator the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

Some 50 Casbaa member delegates attended each of the two days. One hundred delegates from mainland China-based companies also participated.

The presentations featured a dozen overviews of the China and regional markets both in terms of regulation and commercial conditions, with contributions made by, among others, SARFT, CGA, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Zenith Media, Bank of China International, CITV Progamme Agency, OpenTV, BDA, Paul, Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Discovery Communications (China), the Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group and

Marcel Fenez, Asia Pacific Leader of Pricewaterhousecoopers' Media and Entertainment practice and a Casbaa board member gave the opening address. Four 90-minute panel discussions, led by CGA, expanded on the presentations with a sometimes forthright exchanges of views.

"These two days of conferencing reinforced the strides which Casbaa has been making," said Frank Brown, the president of Casbaa. "This information exchange reflected the excitement that our industry is experiencing in China and the huge opportunities that are gradually opening up. Casbaa was delighted to meet with the officials from SARFT and to hear their concise summary of the regulatory environment." Simon Twiston Davies, the executive director of Casbaa, added: "We are so pleased with the progress made with this roundtable that we have already started the process of planning next year's China event with CGA and MediaView."

"We were particularly encouraged by the attendance of related Casbaa member companies such as News Corporation (China) and AOL-Time Warner, as well as by outside groups such as ABN Amro, DVN Holdings, Lehman Brothers and SUNeVision, said Twiston Davies, who pointed out that Casbaa member companies such as Scientific-Atlanta, The History Channel, OpenTV, New Skies Satellites, Walt Disney Television and MTV Asia also contributed hugely to the dialogue.

"Despite a sometimes difficult operating environment for our industries we continue to reach out to regulators and the market as a whole. We see Casbaa playing an ever more active role as a bridge between those who set the regulations and those who must work within the framework." said Twiston Davies.

The China market will be given a central position during the upcoming Casbaa 2001 Convention, 28-30 November 2001 in Hong Kong.

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