Mobile group sets up new branch

Index Holdings, a mobile communications and media group, has launched a China office, Index China, through group company Index Asia Pacific, the company announced Thursday.

In partnership with China Mobile, Index China will transmit Japanese comics and games to Chinese mobile users, with service skedded to start next spring, in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As part of the tie-up agreement, China Mobile will have exclusive rights to Index content in China.

The content line-up for the new service has yet to be announced, but Index Holding is negotiating with major Japanese publishers and other content owners.

China Mobile owns a 70% share of the Chinese market, with 300 million users. Also, China itself is huge and booming market for Japanese manga and games, though competition among the Japanese companies hoping to reap the rewards of this market is fierce. Through its partnership with China Mobile, Index hopes to quickly expand its market footprint — and take a giant step past its rivals.

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