FYI 12.17.08

Motorola Introduces M-commerce Platform in China; Cindy Chang Rejoins Star; Universal Music Renews Deal With Rock Records; Mindshare Hires Calaf Huang in Taiwan

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Motorola is expanding into mobile commerce in China for the first time. The U.S. company has launched an m-commerce initiative to help both consumers and retailers handle financial and retail functions. Already the world's largest mobile phone market, China's m-commerce market is "rapidly evolving," said T.K. Ng, general manager of the company's global services, home and networks mobility division in China.

Motorola's new M-Wallet service lets consumers handle account inquiries, money transfers, bill payments and e-ticketing from their mobile phones, eliminating the need to go to the bank or even carry bank cards. In addition to mobile banking, the platform provides services for retailers like merchant membership cards, electronic couponing and prepaid cards.

Motorola also launched a back-end management platform for mobile network operators, financial institutions and retailers. Both M-Wallet and the back-end management platform have been deployed by Union Mobile Pay, a leading mobile payment company established by China Mobile Communications Corp. (CMCC) and China UnionPay in mid-2003. Mobile users can download and install the M-Wallet application on mobile phones that support Java technology, and register bank accounts to the mobile phones via UMPay, which covers 14 of China's 16 major banks.
Hong Kong-based Star Group has appointed Cindy Chang as senior VP for advertising sales and distribution in Taiwan. Based in Taipei, previously she was EVP at Aegis Media Group, responsible for media buying, negotiation and media operations. Ms. Chang has worked at Star before, from 1994 to 2005.
Universal Music Group has renewed its exclusive sales and distribution agreement with one of Asia's largest independent record label, Taiwan-based Rock Music Group, and has added mainland China to the list of territories covered.

The updated four-year contract is a renewal of the original deal signed in July 2003, which included sales and distribution for all back catalog, forthcoming releases and joint-venture initiatives for Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. Rock Records is the dominant independent Chinese label for Mandarin-language pop music in Asia.
Mindshare has appointed Calaf Huang as partner-interaction at its office in Taipei, where the GroupM agency works with advertisers such as Nike, GlaxoSmithKline, Nestlé, LG Electronics and Avon. She succeeds Sonia Feng, who has left Taiwan. Most recently, Ms. Huang was marketing director at eDynamics in Taipei. Prior to that, she was a founding member and sales manager of 24/7 Real Media in Taiwan.

The popularity of e-commerce population and high penetration of mobile phones make Taiwan one of the most important markets for digital marketing in Asia. The country "is often seen as a weathervane for future digital trends around Asia, as the market is approaching the 70% Internet penetration point, the standard level indicative of advanced Internet markets," said Brian Stoller, Mindshare's partner-invention for Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong.

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