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Chernin: Asian Markets Smarter Than Westerners Think

Says biggest mistake companies make is they have "inadequate" respect 9/16/2011 02:58:54 PM Eastern

There
are opportunities abound in the Asian market according to Peter
Chernin, chairman of Chernin Entertainment and The Chernin Group, but
that Western companies have "inadequate" respect for how smart the
people are there.

That
came in a conversation with the Dean of UCLA's Anderson School of
Management, Judy Olian, during the Paley Center for Media's International
Council session on Friday in Los Angeles.

Chernin
argues that instead of big media companies coming in and running the
show, these companies should look to partner with some of the local
flavor. He says that while "there are clearly opportunities for U.S. or
global content," that this region has its own customs and way of life
that western-created content may not fly. "Local content will always
prevail," said Chernin.

The
former News Corp. president and COO launched CA Media last November
specifically to scour the Asian market for business opportunities in
terms of content creation, television networks, advertising and digital
media. "The one thing that is a constant in all of these markets right
now, is that you have brilliant young people, very well educated and
very very worldly," says Chernin.

Chernin
goes on to say that it won't be long before some of those markets try
to buy in to the U.S. "It's probably a little ethno-centric to assume
that all these people are just going to follow us," he said. "You're
going to see significant Chinese investments in American companies."

"Somewhere along the line, some Chinese company is going to buy a U.S. media company or a U.S. tech company," he said.

With
India and China rated as two of the highest GDP growth areas in the
world, Chernin argues that the Asian market provides a plethora of
opportunities; U.S. and other Western companies can't become too
arrogant to think they can come in and run the show.

Chernin notes the best opportunities will come in the mobile and digital
sectors. In China, 70% of Internet users are under 30 and a lot already
posses the technical know-how, but since that is such an underdeveloped
market, most try to create for themselves. "Everybody is an entrepreneur
there," says Chernin.

In
India, "there's a pretty decent so-called traditional media business,"
says Chernin. "There's now been 15 years of creating high-end content
for cable television... but there is almost no Internet business there."
Chernin also said that there are two billion mobile customers in India,
China and Indonesia.

"We
think we are the fountain of all knowledge," said Chernin. "What's
great about the Internet is any 18-year-old kid, anywhere in the world
knows as much about the Internet as we do."

 

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