Chinese appliance maker launches cell phone

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BEIJING--Konka, a leading Chinese household appliance marketer, is muscling into the local cellular phone market, which is expected to reach 20 million users by yearend.

Konka has hired famous Hong Kong movie star Chou Yuen-fat to feature in an advertising campaign. The company aims to spend a minimum of $600,000 a month on TV advertising on various channels owned by China Central Television, the country's only national TV station.

Konka, best known as a manufacturer of color TVs, aims to sell one million cellular phones in 2000, according to Chen Weirong, general manager of Konka Group. The company will start making a profit after it has sold 500,000 sets, Mr. Chen says.

The sets are being jointly developed with Lucent Technology of the U.S.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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