Business / Technology

V1 expands video business to Dubai

By Gao Qihui (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-26 08:40

V1 Group, a Chinese new-media enterprise featuring online video, has signed an investment contract with a Dubai-based TV station to become its major shareholder, in a bid to help Chinese companies promote their brands in the Middle East.

Through the investment, V1 will become an international communications platform for Chinese companies in the Middle East, providing a window for their brands in the region, Zhang Lijun, V1's board chairman, said.

But Zhang declined to reveal the amount of the investment and what stake it holds in the TV station.

Dubai CATV, a satellite TV station broadcasting programs in both Chinese and Arabic to 25 Arab countries, is looking forward to drawing wide attention from Chinese users, especially Chinese businessmen, through V1's platform, according to Alex Liu, chairman of CATV.

Under the Belt and Road Initiative, the two sides both foresee a rapidly increasing demand for exchange between China and the United Arab Emirates, which is China's second-biggest trading partner in the Middle East, with bilateral trade volume reaching $48.6 billion in 2015.

The number of Chinese living in Dubai has soared from a few thousand to more than 300,000 over the past 25 years, according to a report of China Central Television, citing figures from Wang Changqing, chairman of the Federation of Overseas Chinese in the UAE, in September.

Meanwhile, more than 600,000 Chinese tourists visited the UAE last year, according to the China's embassy there.

Since its establishment in 2014, CATV has set one of its major goals as helping Chinese better understand the Arab world and assisting Chinese businesspeople to find opportunities in the Middle East, according Liu.

CATV has worked with some Chinese companies to promote their brands in the local market and provided advice to help them better understand local customers.

The upcoming Dubai World Exposition in 2020 will be a big chance for Chinese companies, said Liu.

"China's construction companies have the edge to take part in building the new exposition site."

However, V1 will not restrict its ambitions to Dubai or the UAE.

It is looking at the whole Middle East, with Dubai as a bridgehead for the many foreign companies, which want to expand their business in the area, said Zhang.

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