MTV and Forbes Invade China

04 April 2003

Two more US media giants are homing in on the potentially rich pickings to be mined from the fast-growing market in the now pinkish and capital-friendly People’s Republic of China.

While it’s not yet Liberty Hall, global capitalism is being welcomed with controlled caution – and it is far from certain who is exploiting whom. Those who take the long view believe the sleeping giant has awakened and is salivatingly eager to learn the rules of the game – and how to bend them - in anticipation of the Year of the Red Dragon.

Meantime, Viacom’s MTV Networks has received permission to launch a 24-hour service this month in wealthy Cantonese-speaking Guangdong province, just across the border from Hong Kong. MTV joins two other US channels: AOL Time Warner’s 24-hour Mandarin-language entertainment channel, China Entertainment Television Broadcast and the Phoenix Chinese Channel, owned by NewsCorp-controlled Star Group.

In addition, the arch-evangelist of global capitalism Forbes magazine will launch a local language edition in mid-April. Published in Hong Kong, it will be distributed in mainland China via state-owned Beijing publishing house, the China National Import Export Book Corporation.

Print run for the launch issue is 75,000. It will run to 120 pages, around forty of which will be ads featuring such peoples’ favorites as Intel, Vacheron Constantin, IBM, Microsoft, Nokia and Volkswagen. A full-page color ad costs around $10,000 – or around twice the nation’s per capita GDP.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff