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China's bid for set top dominance


Published: 11 November, 2011


In the same way that set top vendors cannot be left out of the free for all in Latin America, the growth in Chinese set tops is more controlled, in the sense that it is under control by the major pay TV players there and one of these, China Telecom, is placing orders the like of which IPTV players have never before seen.

Despite the magnitude of China Telecom's set top plans, ordering 3.6 million set tops for between now and June, in a combination of SD and HD configurations, the worrying thing is the way Western, Korean and Japanese set top makers have been virtually cast adrift and all the orders have gone to local set top makers. Soon the Chinese set top manufacturers will be spilling out of China looking to invest in international markets, on the back of such huge domestic orders.

Is this a matter for GATT, to investigate whether or not outsiders are being pushed out of these plum contracts, or is it that the Chinese vendors are simply more competitive? Both Alcatel and Ericsson, two Western companies who don't make set tops outside of the Far East, have a slice of the action, and potentially Cisco has some business through a partner, but as far as we can see the others majors such as Pace, Technicolor and Motorola are all left out in the cold in these Chinese orders.

For a full analysis of this subject go to and order this week's Faultline issue.

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