Although there are still 60 days before the 2004 Athens Olympics opening ceremony, the flames of war have already begun among China's online media as they vie to seize a share of the reporting and coverage market.
Sohu is currently in the lead, allying itself with Lenovo, which will provide abundant financial support and make it the first portal website to launch an Olympic Channel in China. Because no one official Chinese website has been designated for the upcoming Olympic Games, the major portal websites in China have all started competing with one another taking advantage of their existing resources.
Soho has so far been the first to act. In addition to allying itself with Lenovo, which is offering considerable financial support, as early as May 8, Soho began to display a prominent count-down for the Olympics Games, signifying the formal launch of its Olympics channel.
This has, however, all been but a prelude to seizing the Olympic market, with Sohu having determined to send a 15-staff team, the largest in the company's history, to Athens to cover every piece of news, keeping track of athletes and coaches, and even inviting champions to the studio to share their success with netizens. In the meantime, it will work with seven media including Reuters, China News Agency, and the Associated Press to meet demand for news.
In addition, Sohu plans to organize various offline activities including a special support group and a photographic team which will go to the Games and is expected to send all the pictures taken to Sohu for broadcasting.