By Victor Gotevbe,
StarTimes on October 18, 2018 celebrated its 30th anniversary with a run led by the President of StarTimes Group, Pang Xinxing who also delivered an inspiring speech for the commemoration at StarTimes Beijing Headquarters, highlighting the “We never give up” spirit of the company.
StarTimes Group is a Chinese multinational media company founded in 1988 by Chinese Engineer Pang Xinxing (still the current chairman) in Qinhuangdao City. StarTimes’ entrance into the African market disrupted traditional model of TV industry by making Pay TV inexpensive to every family and not only to the posh families.
Presently, StarTimes serves more than 20 million users and operates in 37 African countries including Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Madagascar, and the Republic of Central Africa.
Like most businesses that were once startups, Startimes Group had its own twists and turns until fortune smiled on it through hard work. Engineer Xinxing who could not contain his excitement in his speech noted that the 30th birthday of the company has opened a new journey for the future. The company he added has experienced tremendous changes and has grown from small to large.
For several businesses facing enormous challenges, inspiration can be undoubtedly drawn from President Pang’s speech. He acknowledged, Start times had its own share of difficulties. He said that “at the early stage of business, StarTimes had no resources, no connections, no experience. Adhering to the spirit of hard work, we strived to learn and work hard. One order by order, on province by province, we gradually opened up the market. Thanks to the spirit of persistence, StarTimes has created several NO.1s in the Chinese broadcasting and TV industry.”
He added: “In the past 30 years, the setbacks that we have had experienced, the difficulties we have had overcome, and the crises that had been resolved cannot be expressed by numbers. But no matter what, we always stay true to our mission and never give up. In the spirit of persistence, we are unswervingly moving toward our established goals”
As aforementioned, Africa became a priority 15 years ago, when in 2002, StarTimes decided to go abroad in order to expand its overseas markets. Within five years (2007), the company was able to obtain its first operating license in Rwanda, which officially opened “a new journey for the investment, construction and operation of digital TV network in Africa.”
The last decade has shown how the company has built the world’s largest heterogeneous network platform across continents, countries and networks, and has created a content generation mechanism integrating program integration, program translation and program production.
StarTimes in Africa has evolved from “nobody to the fastest most influential digital TV operator, forming a strategic situation of tripartite confrontation with the Naspers and Vivendi Group”. It also founded the African Digital TV Development Seminar, created the digital migration model, undertook the great project of “Provide Satellite TV Access to 10,000 African Villages”, and has held the highly acclaimed dubbing contest, the film and television exhibition season, the movie caravan to the countryside and so on. Today, it has become a progressive force full of vigor and vitality in the African media field, President Pang said.
The company amidst the market changes or difficult times, will adhere to its vision of “enabling every African family to afford digital TV, watch digital and enjoy digital TV”.
The President shared some of the landmarks achieved as he emphatically declared: “ It is us who ended the era in Africa when watching TV is the privilege of just a few rich people; it is us who pushed for the development of African radio and television from analog to digital; it is us who opened up a window for African people to understand the world and understand China; it is us who brought the advanced technology, products and services to Africa and enable the African people to join us in sharing the beauty of digital TV!”
In his closing statement, he underscored that “30 years isn’t a short time; it marks a milestone in the quest for a better future. 30 years isn’t a long time, because our rich heritage will steer us to greater heights against all odds. I believe in the near future, StarTimes will make a major breakthrough by becoming the world’s leading media group with global impact.”