olympics500days.jpgAnother sign that China's internet market has achieved critical mass. The International Olympic Committee has launched a tendering process for mainland China for the sale of internet and mobile phone platform rights for next year's Beijing Olympics.

The IOC sold over-the-air TV rights in China for the Olympics to
broadcaster CCTV back in 1998 and is now looking to “monetise” the
digital delivery opportunities offered by the internet and, to a lesser
extent mobile phones.

As we said recently,
China's internet market is growing fast and the shift to broadband
technology, while not as widespread in more countries, makes it
feasible for many millions of Chinese to follow the games on a PC
instead of watch it on TV — whether they will of course is a moot

They could also watch the games on their mobile phone. Or, rather,
they could if China manages to get its 3G networks up and running in
time — without 3G technology, video content is pretty much ruled out.

With just 500 days left until the games start, there is still no
news on when and how China's 3G licences will be awarded and the window
of opportunity is closing fast. More on the unending saga of China's 3G
delays here.

The picture shows some of the 10,000 Chinese who took a walk in
Beijing's Chaoyang Park this weekend to celebrate the Olympic coundown
reaching 500 days.

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