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TOM Group Limited (SEHK: 2383) is a Chinese-language media company in the Greater China region, with business interests across markets in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Its business covers four media sectors, Internet (TOM Online), Outdoor (TOM Outdoor Media Group), Publishing, and Television and Entertainment.
In 2008, TOM Group was crowned In-House of the Year - Media & Entertainment In-House Team of the Year at the 2008 ALB Hong Kong Law Awards.
The TOM Group was founded in October 1999 as a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa, Cheung Kong Holdings, and other strategic investors, principally Solina Chau. In March 2000, it was listed on the Growth Enterprise Market as HKEx:8001. The Group subsequently transferred its listing to the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (stock code: 2383).
The TOM Group's initial IPO on the Growth Enterprise Market (The Second Board in Hong Kong) caused a minor rush by the public for applications to purchase the stock at an offer price of $1.48–1.78 HK in March 2000. By January of 2012, the stock closed at $4.71 HK on the Hong Kong Main Board, far outperforming its competitors sohu.com and sina.com's growth rates on the NASDAQ.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, the Group has regional offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei and operating bases in about twenty cities. The Group generated revenues of HK$2,728 million in 2008, a 2% growth over 2007. Sing Wang has been the CEO up to end of 2005, the then CFO Tommei Tong was promoted to CEO in January 2006. Tommei Tong resigned in early 2008 and Ken Yeung was appointed as the CEO of TOM Group since 26 March 2008. Angela Mak Soek Fun was also appointed as the CFO.
TOM Group’s internet arm targets the young, trendy and technology-savvy demographic, serving around 300 million online users. The portal has been upgraded and is transitioning to a tool- and user-centric widgetised open platform. TOM’s wireless division serves a wireless user base of some 400 million people, offering a range of products and services including SMS, MMS, WAP, IVR, RBT, and Java ME.
TOM has acquired the exclusive rights to operate the official NBA websites in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The NBA official site in the Mainland was launched in October 2008 with live broadcast of games and various social networking features for sports fans to communicate, interact and share.
In addition, through TOM-Skype, a joint venture with Skype, the Company offers peer-to-peer software that allows mainland Chinese users to communicate using IM, voice and video. At the end of 2008, TOM-Skype had 80 million registered users.
Also under the internet division is a C2C e-commerce platform TOM Eachnet. By integrating the internet technologies into the online products and services, the company is working towards a direction to deliver a seamless online-to-mobile experience.
As an outdoor advertising expert in mainland China, TOM Outdoor Media Group (OMG) operates an extensive advertising billboard and unipole network with media assets space over 300,000 square meters covering nearly 60 cities. Capitalizing on its innovative media and comprehensive network, OMG has 15 subsidiaries located in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu to provide clients with tailor-made services and one-stop shop solutions. To capture cross-strait opportunities, the company has acquired assets in second-tier cities, underpinned by the acquisition of over 140 units of media assets including billboards, unipoles and light boxes in Fuzhou Airport, totalling over 3,500 square metres.
TOM Group publishing arm has developed into a unique publishing platform in Greater China. Through the formation of joint ventures, TOM Group is able to substantially increase its presence in the publishing market on the Mainland. In Taiwan, a total of 40 publishers are consolidated under Cite Publishing Holding Group, the top-ranked magazines and books publishing group in the region. In Hong Kong, the CUP magazine is very popular among young business executives. Over 60 magazine titles with annual printing volume exceeding 29 million copies; a total of 5 new magazines on computer, digital related and lifestyle genres were launched. More than 2,000 new book titles; and the annual printing volume reached to 19 million copies; a total catalogue of 14,000 titles out of which 400 more were licensed for local production by publishers in Mainland China.
TV & entertainment
TOM Group is the majority shareholder of China Entertainment Television (CETV), a 24-hour Putonghua general entertainment channel providing the latest Asian and International entertainment programming, as well as bringing pioneering and innovative original productions to Mainland China audiences.
CETV was the first of the 6 foreign satellite television channels to have been granted landing rights into the cable systems of Guangdong, and has also secured nationwide distribution via the Central Platform, covering hotels and foreign apartment compounds. In aggregate, with distribution via the AsiaSat 3S and Sinosat platforms, it is estimated that CETV now reaches approximately 21 million households throughout Mainland China.
Hit programming for the Channel include the renowned Korean dramas “Jewel In The Palace” and “The Legendary Doctor – Hur Jun”, as well as original productions “Super Search Warrant” and “Scent Of A Woman”. Original programming of CETV is now being syndicated to Hunan, Fujian, Henan and other local networks.
Other publishing rivals include:
- TOM Group
- Leung, H. "Forms snapped up in two hours; Stampede as tom.com goes public," Hong Kong Standard, 19 February 2000.