TOM Group

TOM Group

TOM Group Limited is a Chinese-language media company in the Greater China region, with business interests across markets in the Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Its business covers four media sectors:

  • the Internet (TOM Online)
  • Outdoor (TOM Outdoor Media Group)
  • Publishing
  • Television and Entertainment

History

The TOM Group was founded in October 1999 as a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa, Cheung Kong Holdings, and other strategic investors, principally Solina Chau. In March 2000, it was listed on the Growth Enterprise Market as HKEx:8001. The Group subsequently transferred its listing to the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (stock code: 2383).

Operations

Headquartered in Hong Kong, the Group has regional offices in Beijing and Taipei and operating bases in twenty-seven cities. The Group generated revenues of HK$2,089 million in 2003, a 28.6% increase on 2002. Sing Wang has been the CEO up to end of 2005, the then CFO Tommei Tong was promoted to CEO in January 2006.

TOM Business Divisions

Internet

TOM Online Inc. (NASDAQ: TOMO, HK GEM: 8282) is a leading wireless Internet company that offers an array of wireless Internet services and operates one of the most trafficked web properties in Mainland China. As at the end of 2005, it was the only portal ranked in the top three of every wireless Internet service segment.

The Company has a strong focus on the younger, trendy and technology-savvy demographics in Mainland China. At the end of 2005, more than 150 million users have signed up for its wireless Internet services including SMS, MMS, WAP, IVR, ringtones and ringback tones. Its tom.com portal, which features over 50 content channels on topics such as entertainment, music and sports, attracts on average over 225 million page views per day. In addition, through TOM-Skype, a joint venture with Skype, the Company offers peer-to-peer software that allows mainland Chinese users to communicate using IM, voice and video. TOM-Skype client has built in trojan capabilities used by the Chinese government for censorship. At the end of 2005, TOM-Skype had 7.43 million registered users.

Outdoor media

As the leading outdoor advertising expert in mainland China, TOM Outdoor Media Group (OMG) operates the largest advertising billboard and unipole network with media assets space over 300,000 square meters covering nearly 60 cities. Capitalizing on its innovative media and comprehensive network, OMG has 16 subsidiaries located in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu to provide clients with tailor-made services and one-stop shop solutions.

In the past, the Group successively won 247 national awards and 17 patents, making it the top award-winning outdoor media company on the mainland. In 2005, OMG ranked third among hundred thousands more local advertising counterparts. Its reputation was further enhanced after being recognized as the top five advertising companies that had the greatest influence.

With the strategic implementation of differentiation, synergy integration and uplifting value-added services, OMG had successfully delivered resources integration, knowledge management and innovations.

Publishing

TOM Group publishing arm has developed into a unique publishing platform in Greater China. Through the formation of joint ventures, TOM Group is able to substantially increase its presence in the publishing market on the Mainland. In Taiwan, a total of 40 publishers are consolidated under Cite Publishing Holding Group, the top-ranked magazines and books publishing group in the region. In Hong Kong, the CUP magazine is very popular among young business executives.

Magazines

Over 60 titles with annual printing volume exceeding 29 million copies; a total of 5 new magazines on computer, digital related and lifestyle genres were launched.

Books

More than 2,000 new titles; and the annual printing volume reached to 19 million copies; a total catalogue of 14,000 titles out of which 400 more were licensed for local production by publishers in Mainland China.

TV & entertainment

TOM Group is the majority shareholder of CETV, a 24-hour Putonghua general entertainment channel providing the latest Asian and International entertainment programming, as well as bringing pioneering and innovative original productions to Mainland China audiences.

CETV was the first of the 6 foreign satellite television channels to have been granted landing rights into the cable systems of Guangdong, and has also secured nationwide distribution via the Central Platform, covering hotels and foreign apartment compounds. In aggregate, with distribution via the AsiaSat 3S and Sinosat platforms, it is estimated that CETV now reaches approximately 21 million households throughout Mainland China.

Hit programming for the Channel include the renowned Korean dramas “Jewel In The Palace” and “The Legendary Doctor – Hur Jun”, as well as original productions “Super Search Warrant” and “Scent Of A Woman”. Original programming of CETV is now being syndicated to Hunan, Fujian, Henan and other local networks.

Other publishing rivals include:

Allegations of Internet monitoring

In October 2008 Canadian Citizen Lab issued a report according to which TOM Group systematically archived it's user's Skype communication and searched it for politically sensitive keywords, such as "Tibet" or "Communist Party". According to the report personal messages were stored in insecure places and could be accessed publicly. This opens questions to what extent TOM was cooperating with the Chinese government in order to suppress political dissidents and the democracy movement. TOM commented that it complied with Chinese law.

External links

  • http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/151775/skype_messages_being_monitored_in_china_group_says.html

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