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VC firm sets up digital media fund
( 2003-12-16 01:27) (China Daily)

Gobi Partners, a Shanghai-based early-stage venture capital (VC) firm focusing on digital media, yesterday announced its first closing of US$30 million for the Gobi Fund has been completed.

The fund will focus on early stage investment in China's digital media value chain, composed of content creation, delivery, access and applications.

Gobi's strategy attracted key investors, including International Business Machines, leading Japanese mobile communications company NTT DoCoMo, and Goldbond, a Hong Kong-based financial services and investment holding company.

Gobi expects to attract another US$45 million in the second quarter of 2004.

Thomas Tsao, a partner of Gobi, predicted China will stand at the forefront of the global digital media revolution..

"Given the huge market potential, digital media ventures in China have enormous opportunities to set up some global standards, thus gaining a huge market share and revenues,'' he said.

China has surpassed the United States as the world's largest telecommunications market. Its Internet users have surged to 68 million, making it the world's second largest Internet population after the United States.

Alfred Tang, a partner with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in Hong Kong, expects "the quality and interconnectivity between telecommunications and Internet service suppliers will continue to improve and provide significant opportunities in China's information technology market.''

Gobi partner Lawrence Tse said the established advanced broadband and wireless backbone networks provide a sound infrastructure for the digital media sector to flourish in China.

"We are looking for companies that do something innovative and try things that are not yet available or not even heard of in the market,'' he said.

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