After almost a year of rumors and rejections, it was revealed yesterday that Time Warner has pulled out of its US$50 million internet joint venture with Legend Group. Legend has officially bought out Time Warner's 49 per cent stake in FM365, effectively putting an end to all its media ventures in China.

"It should be labeled a failure for us," Legend chief financial officer Mary Ma Xuezheng is quoted in the South China Morning Post. "No one knew three years ago what would have happened in the ever-changing telecommunications market." Both Time Warner and Legend had previously rejected rumors that the joint venture would end, claiming instead that it had been put on hold in March 2003 for review.

Ms Ma said the growing popularity of wireless LAN and the ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) capability of data transmission were behind Legend's decision to back away from running a media business.

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