As was disclosed in our recently filed 20-F for 2007, SINA Corporation and Focus Media were involved in transactions exceeding 5% of SINA's revenues in the year ended December 31, 2007, which under Nasdaq rules rendered Mr. Charles Chao no longer qualified as an independent director of Focus Media. He will remain on the board as a non-independent director of Focus Media. In addition, Mr. David Feng Yu, a non-independent director and founder of Target Media, has resigned from the Board. As Nasdaq requires that independent directors must comprise the majority of the company's board of directors, Focus Media has appointed Mr. Ying Wu as an independent director to its board of directors. Mr. Ying Wu was a founder of UTStarcom and has many years of experience in managing large organizations and investments in the media and telecommunications industry.Our take:
We were surprised to see that David Fen Yu was still a director, considering that Target Media ostensibly competes against Focus in the impossibly hot out-of-home advertising market in China, as such an arrangement would likely have produced numerous conflicts of interest for both Yu and the two companies. Bringing UTStarcom's Ying on instead makes a wealth of sense for the company, especially as they have expressed interest recently in expanding their focus beyond simple out-of-home advertising and into other venues as well (indeed, they've acquired companies in both mobile advertising and Internet advertising in the last 12 months), so some experience from the larger media world could prove useful.