Date
18 December 2017
Ricky Wong's HKTV faces a tough challenge as it pursues internet TV and e-commerce businesses at the same time. Photo: HKEJ
Ricky Wong's HKTV faces a tough challenge as it pursues internet TV and e-commerce businesses at the same time. Photo: HKEJ

HKTV needs to prove itself with new business model

The outlook on Hong Kong Television Network Ltd. (HKTV, 01137.HK) is hazy as the new business model that its chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay is pursuing is yet to inspire confidence, columnist T Y Ko wrote in the Hong Kong Economic Journal Friday.

Wong is effectively running two brand new businesses — over-the-top online television broadcasting and an online shopping platform — through the listed company, which is like David taking up a fight with two giant Goliaths at the same time, Ko wrote. 

As of the end of August, HKTV had HK$1.9 billion (US$244.97 million) cash equivalent in hand. It however has to pump in loads of money to develop the two businesses, including about HK$1 billion for the construction of a multimedia center for TV program production, the columnist noted.

HKTV is also building two logistics centers and planning to hire 300 workers for a cargo service to cater to clients on its online shopping platform.

While the company faces a big challenge, another media play Next Media Ltd. (00282.HK) appears to have regained its footing after the sale of its loss-making TV business in Taiwan, Ko noted

Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, the boss of Next Media, had tried twice to run online television but to no avail, and is now focusing on the development of digital and mobile games business, which he expects will soon make profit.

Comparing HKTV and Next Media, it is obvious which of the two listed media plays that investors should place their bets on, Ko wrote.

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VW/JP/RC

Freelance journalist

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