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China heralds success of iPhone TV

Doesn't exaggerate at all

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The Chinese regulator is trumpeting the success of the state broadcaster's iPhone application, claiming 2000 new users daily and half a million signed up in the month since launch.

Closer examination shows figures that aren't quite that good: the quoted numbers include subscribers to the streaming TV services run by China Mobile and China Unicom, but even then it's pretty impressive to have 50 million Chinese watching streamed TV on their phones, and four million watching the closing of the Olympic Games that way.

The iPhone application is certainly popular, as the State Administrator of Radio Film and Television notes, partly thanks to its "strongly recommended" status on the Apple China application store, with the regulator hoping that success at home will lead to adoption elsewhere.

The free application is available in most of the iTunes stores around the world (confusingly titled CCTV.COM), and works well enough if you're interested in seeing state-sponsored media.

China is keen to spread its media around the world, and an iPhone application seems a good way to do it, though we can't help thinking it's not quite in the spirit of Apple's branding. ®

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