Microsoft signs Internet deal with Chinese TV maker

Microsoft and a major Chinese TV set maker announced they will jointly develop entertainment products linking television and the Internet, joining a race to profit from the web's growing status as a channel to distribute movies and other programs, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Microsoft and Sichuan Changhong Electric will explore 'a wide range of scenarios for digital entertainment needs,' according to Roger Chen, a Microsoft spokesman in Beijing.

The types of equipment, software and other products that might be developed, in which countries they might be sold and other details are still under discussion, Chen said.

'The project focuses on in-home network digital entertainment _ how to connect PCs, TVs and the Internet to provide this digital entertainment experience,' the executive was quoted as saying.

As a part of their deal, Microsoft will become a strategic investor in Changhong, buying just under 1% of its shares for about 94 million yuan ($12 million), Changhong said in a prepared statement.

Spokespeople for the company, based in the southwestern city of Chengdu, refused to give any other information, the Associated Press report further said.