The World: Shanghai - P&G tops bids at China's TV network auction

Procter & Gamble topped the bidders at this year's auction for CCTV, China's national TV network, where the upcoming Beijing Olympics helped push figures to a record high.

The auction reported an 18 per cent increase over 2006, netting total bids worth eight billion yuan ($1 billion).

P&G led the field, spending 486 million yuan. Yili, the Chinese dairy giant, was its closest rival with an outlay of 374 million yuan. China Life Insurance ranked third, spending 278 million yuan.

Industry analysts said Chinese companies were tending to over-invest in CCTV compared with their foreign counterparts, mainly because of the network's cachet. International companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi are starting to make use of regional satellite stations.