StarTimes: The Chinese Media Enterprise`s Response to COVID-19 Crisis in Africa

Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Case Code: BSTR620
Case Length: 14 Pages
Period: 2019-2020
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: StarTimes Group
Industry: Media
Countries: China
Themes: Crisis Management, Business Continuity Planning, International Operations, COVID-19
Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Strategy to Win Africa

While selling its services to African governments, StarTimes offered the lowest bids along with long-term, low-interest rate financing provided by CEXIM. At the consumer level, it offered the lowest subscription prices for pay-TV. Acting on the philosophy of serving the people through business, consumers could get StarTimes cable and satellite TV packages for as low asUS$4 per month..

Covid-19 and Africa

The coronavirus outbreak came to light on December 31, 2019, when China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China. On March 11, 2020, WHO officially declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. As of October 15, 2020, global infections from COVID-19 stood at 39.6 million with deaths at 1,108,629, according to reference website Worldometer..

Startimes’ Initiatives to Tackle the Crisis

As the health crisis unfolded in Africa, StarTimes launched several initiatives, all guided by the “4 Healthy initiatives” set by founder Pang..


StarTimes Nigeria, a subsidiary of StarTimes, as a contribution toward the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, donated 6,000 facemasks to the Federal Government of Nigeria. This was done as part of the company’s CSR to Nigeria, one of its biggest markets. StarTimes Ghana also donated 10,000 face masks to the Ghana Police Service and Personal Protective Equipment to the staff of the Ghana Football Association..

Challenges Ahead

StarTimes increased its subscription prices by 22% across its various bouquets in Africa with effect from August 1, 2020. The company attributed the hike to factors such as Value Added Tax (VAT) being increased from 5% to 7.5% earlier in the year, the COVID-19 crisis, currency devaluation and inflation, along with a significant increase in operational costs. Viki Liu, StarTimes marketing manager..


Exhibit I: StarTimes’ Revenues
Exhibit II: Africa Pay-TV Subscribers by Operator (2019-2025 (projected))
Exhibit III: StarTimes Subscription Bouquets
Exhibit IV: COVID-19 Cases in Africa (As of October 25, 2020)
Exhibit V: Projected Medium to Long-Term Social and Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Africa

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