Why spend thousands of dollars on opening an office in Shanghai? Well, Rovio is marking a clear step to further penetrate the Chinese market that has witnessed thriving business growth during the past year. 40 million people in China have download the Angry Birds game, so Rovio is opening its first overseas operation in Shanghai to show its appreciation to Chinese fans.
The Shanghai Office
The move of opening an office in Shanghai will actually help Rovio to gain a greater share in the largely neglected feature phone (mobile devices that do not use an advanced operating system) sector and lay a solid foundation for future acquisition activities, said Peter Vesterbacka, CEO of Rovio. And Vesterbacka added,
“Rovio chose Shanghai as the first location for an international office because of its unique position as one of the most creative and technologically advanced cities in the world, and also because Rovio wants to show its appreciation to Chinese fans by serving them even better locally,”
Rovio’s Shanghai office is located in an animation center in the city’s Baoshan district, and the office is set to be fully operational by the end of 2011 with some 20 staff members. It will be a multifunction operation, handling the research, marketing and sales of Angry Birds-related products.
Strategic Partnership with Chinese Firms
Ever since the Angry Birds game is launched to the public via Apple’s App store, the bird-slinging game has rapidly gained popularity in China, as it is characterized by simple game play and little commitment in terms of time, gearing towards a mass audience. Nearly 40 million people have downloaded the game in China, and it is still counting. In order to move a bigger step into the Chinese market, Rovio is now working together with around 10 Chinese firms, ranging from the telecommunications provider China Mobile to the social networking site Renren and the search engine Baidu. These three top Chinese firms are likely to be significant allies as Rovio plots to extent Angry Birds fever across China.
What’s more, a Beijing-based video and telemedia service corporation, VoDone Ltd, has formed a strategic partnership with Rovio. The agreement between two parties will pull millions of Chinese feature-phone users into the Angry Birds orbit. Chairman of the board of VoDone expressed that in the cooperation with Rovio, China Mobile Games and Entertainment Group (CMGE) will spend big money in developing the Chinese version Angry Birds, including standalone and webpage version, the distribution right as well as R&D gained thereof are exclusive. Rovio will be responsible for brand authorization. The profit gained will be shared by both parties. Here’s what Zhang Lijun, chairman of VoDone, said in a statement,
“This niche market (China) will basically serve everyone and will make it possible for an even bigger audience to play the game,”
The Chinese version Angry Birds will rely on CMGE’s 80 million users and 30 million installation amounts for popularization in the future. CMGE will also include Angry Birds in its game platform, and upgrade the system to make it applicable to 80 million smartphone users. Starting from next year, an annual 30 million new handsets will come with the game pre-installed in it. Here’s what Rovio CEO Vesterbacka think of the company’s growth in China,
“Hopefully, Angry Birds will become the first entertainment brand to have more than one billion fans globally. And occupying the feature phone segment is absolutely a big part of the plan. Every day we are considering buying another company, and that is what we are looking at here in China. We are determined to acquire and hire top-end talent in China,”
So, Rovio has a pretty nice record of expanding its fame and glory in China. The company first partnered with China-based mobile gaming portal, DownJoy, to give Chinese players a new avenue to download official versions of Angry Birds. Then, they plan to open 200 merchandise stores in China, and continue to move on to share mooncakes in the shape of their Angry Birds with Chinese fans. They even made a Chinese-themed update to its Angry Birds Seasons app to celebrate China’s Moon Festival. What’s even more crazy is that the company looks forward to build an arcade booth in the country. We have a conclusion here, Rovio loves China very, very much.
Source: China Daily
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