SCEI's Asian wing enters mainland

By Li Wenfang (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-01-13 08:05
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 SCEI's Asian wing enters mainland

A visitor plays a Sony Corp PlayStation 3 video game system at a trade fair in Cologne, Germany. Ralph Orlowski / Bloomberg

GUANGZHOU - The Asian subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCEI), the maker of the PlayStation series of home video-game products, signed a letter of intent on Tuesday for training, and research and development (R&D) in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, marking its entry to the mainland market.

The project, in partnership with Guangdong Animation City (GAC) in Conghua, Guangzhou, will be the first investment by the SCEI in the mainland, said Joey S.M. Kee, chief of SCEI's Beijing representative office.

Personnel training and the development of games based on the PlayStation platform will be the first step, followed by training projects in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, according to Tetsuhiko Yasuda, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Asia (SCEA).

SCEA will bring in equipment, overseas experts and educational courses, Kee added.

SCEA will support the localization and development of its games in Guangzhou, Yasuda said.

SCEI has sold more than 300 million PlayStation devices globally, Yasuda said.

He added that the major markets for the products remained the United States, Europe and Japan.

The company does not sell any PlayStation device in the mainland and therefore it has high expectations for the market, Kee said, without giving a timetable for the mainland launch.

GAC will invest about 1.5 billion yuan ($227 million) in building, equipment and marketing, and SCEA will bring in its technology and personnel, said GAC Chairman Guo Jiening.

With software companies joining in the development based on the PlayStation platform, related business is expected to top 100 billion yuan annually in five years, Guo said.

Products developed in Guangzhou will feature Chinese elements, mostly done by local personnel and will be aimed at the international market, Guo said.

With a powerful anti-piracy function, the products are set to play a role in advancing the protection of intellectual property rights, he said.

The two parties are also talking about forming a joint R&D venture, he said.

Zheng Erqi contributed to this story.