Tencent Tech, 12/23/13
Future TV, the internet TV subsidiary of China Central Television's (CCTV) national online TV platform operator CNTV, has partnered with consumer electronics manufacturer Skyworth Digital Holdings (0751.HK) and internet firm Tencent (0700.HK) to jointly release an internet TV set, the "WeChat TV" ("Weixin Dianshi").
The TV set was primarily designed with a focus on simplifying the process of paying for premium internet TV content. WeChat TV owners can bind the TV set to their Tencent WeChat mobile messaging accounts in order to pay for premium content using WeChat's in-app WeChat Pay ("Weixin Zhifu") feature. Additionally, WeChat TV will feature electronic programming guide (EPG) functionality, allowing users to search for TV content through WeChat on their mobile handsets, and then watch content upon returning home. The WeChat TV will also include other features, such as content sharing and user-generated content (UGC) uploading.
Liu Tangzhi, director of Skyworth's color TV business division, has stated that the WeChat TV will open up China's paid TV market, providing a breakthrough for the internet TV "content profitability" model.
The TV set will go on sale before China's January 31 Lunar New Year holiday. Specific pricing details for the TV have not been released.