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China-MICROSOFT Microsoft, Chinese TV maker announce Internet media venture

BEIJING (AP) Microsoft and a major Chinese T-V set maker say they will jointly develop entertainment products linking television and the Internet.

The U-S software giant and its Chinese partner are joining a race to profit from the Web's growing status as a channel to distribute movies and other programs.

A spokesman for the Chinese company says the types of equipment, software and other products that might be developed, where the markets are and other details are still under discussion.

The Internet is emerging as a key channel for piping movies and other programming into homes. Sony, Apple and other media and electronics companies have announced plans for devices to allow programs downloaded from the Web to be viewed on high-definition T-V sets, rather than on computers.

Microsoft's decision to turn to China for a development partner reflects the country's status as a major television and Internet market and a leading producer of consumer electronics.