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Magazine digest -- FPG descendants eyeing digital business

2011/05/23 14:29:13

The third generation of the late Formosa Plastics Group (FPG)founder Wang Yung-ching has continued his entrepreneurial spirit bymaking inroads into the emerging business of cloud computingservices.

Focusing on content for online business, Timothy Chen set upTaiwan's largest independent film distributor, CatchPlay Inc., whileLambert Chien founded the country's biggest digital music provider,KKBOX Inc.

Compared with the business models of website operators orsoftware developers, which rely on one successful product, being aprovider of content such as music and films is seen as moreprofitable, ensuring stable revenue sources for CatchPlay and KKBOX.

Currently, CatchPlay's box office revenues of NT$270 million(US$9.37 million) during the first four months of this year put itbehind only Sony Pictures in Taiwan.

CatchPlay also has distribution partnership deals with cable TVoperators -- Kbro and China Network Systems -- and telecom companies-- Chunghwa Telecom Co. and Far Eastone Telecommunications Co.

After breaking even in 2010, the company plans to expand into theGreater China market, as well as introducing drama serials and shortfilms to broaden its viewer base.

KKBOX, on the other hand, has 7 million registered members inTaiwan and Hong Kong, and expects a 20 percent growth in 2011 fromlast year's revenues of over NT$300 million.

The music provider also announced on May 17 that it will launch aservice for mobile phone users in Japan in June, after Japan'ssecond-largest telecom operator, KDDI Corp., acquired a 76 percentstake in the company last December.

Chunghwa Telecom is also a shareholder in KKBOX's Taiwaneseoperation.

Besides having the same maternal grandfather, there are a fewother similarities shared by Chen and Chien.

First, their distribution of content relies mainly on streamingrather than downloading, which is in line with the online serviceconcept of cloud technology.

Meanwhile, Cher Wang, Wang Yung-ching's daughter, is backing bothcompanies by supporting the creation of CatchPlay and investing inKKBOX through HTC Corp., her cellphone business, leaving WangYung-ching's offspring well-positioned in the business of digitalcontent.(UBN Weekly 265)(translated by Kay Liu)