China’s Africa Development Fund and its China Development Bank are to extend its investment strategy into African digital TV.

Since 2007 around $100 million has already been directly invested, and the president of the fund, Chi Jianxin, says another $50 million has been earmarked for further investment. There could also be more given that the Bank says that it has $400 million on offer for suitable projects, which could be doubled.

The Fund claims that, to date, some 1.4 million people in 14 different African countries are viewing digital TV as a result of the Chinese involvement in the StarTimes-backed ventures. StarTimes claims 7 million pay-TV subscribers in China.

StarTimes transmits terrestrially using Eutelsat (at 10 degrees East) for its local distribution, and has activities in Kenya, Burundi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Central African Rep., and elsewhere.