Royal Group chairman Kith Meng is considering purchasing a $400 million Chinese-made satellite to extend his communications empire, Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said Wednesday.
Mr. Prasidh spoke with reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport as a Cambodian delegation—which included Mr. Meng, Prime Minister Hun Sen and Defense Minister Tea Banh—returned from a high-level visit to China. During the five-day visit, Mr. Hun Sen joined Mr. Meng on a trip to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), Mr. Prasidh said.
“It is because the Royal Group of Okhna Kith Meng plans with that company to buy a satellite for broadcasting and telecommunications in Cambodia, including TV and radio for all Cambodians.”
CASC is a state-owned enterprise that manufactures satellites and spacecraft both commercially and for the Chinese government’s space program.
In April 2011, Royal Group announced that its subsidiary, Royal Blue Skies, had been awarded a concession by the government to launch the country’s first satellite by early this year. At the time, the satellite’s planned use was for TV and Internet services.
Mr. Meng’s Royal Group owns mobile phone operator MobiTel, Internet service provider Ezecom and television stations CTN, CNC and MYTV.
In September, Royal Group joined Russian General Satellite Co. to launch digital pay-television service ONE TV.