Time Warner CEO says India is good market

By agencies   |   Friday, 14 October 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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HONG KONG: The chief executive of Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, said Thursday that India offers better immediate growth prospects for his firm than China because India has stronger rule of
law and less censorship.

India is also catching up in infrastructure and technology to distribute media content, setting the stage for Time Warner Inc. to build a significant presence quickly, Richard Parsons said at a luncheon with the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

China is "a very tough market for a media and entertainment company ... because of some fundamental things, (such as) rule of law. It's hard to make long-term investments, long-term deals if you don't exactly know what the playing field is going to look like," Parsons said.

By contrast, "India has a stronger rule of law culture," he said, and it doesn't censor as much.

Time Warner's media empire includes Warner Bros., the Time Inc. group of magazines, HBO, CNN, AOL and Time Warner Cable.

Piracy is a "huge problem" in China, he said, adding that 95 percent of the 1 billion video discs sold in the country each year are pirated.

"We're taking a long-term strategy in China of building slowly, developing relationships, working with the government," the executive said.

China has a formidable competitor in India, Parsons warned.

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