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China-focused Phoenix gets $25 mln from Intel, Bertelsmann

The new media arm of Phoenix Satellite Television, one of the few independent broadcasters in China, said it has received a $25 million investment from a group, including units of Intel and Bertelsmann.

Phoenix New Media, which was founded in 2005, will receive the funds from Intel Capital as well as Bertelsmann Asia Investment Funds and Morningside Ventures, it said in a statement.

“The new media market in China offers immense potential,” said Richard Hsu, managing director of Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of the world's biggest semiconductor chip maker.

“It is a revolutionary shift in how people access information, consume entertainment and interact with society. Our investment highlights our continued commitment to fostering this innovation culture in China.”

Foreign companies like Phoenix have had a difficult time breaking into China's highly sensitive traditional media markets, with names like Time Warner and News Corp making little inroads despite years of investment in the sector.

Beijing has been less restrictive on media delivered over the Internet and mobile phones, making the media more attractive to foreign investors in a country that is the world's largest Internet and cellular market. (Reuters)