FYI 07.01.2009

Pepsi Opens 'Green' Plant; Grey Hires Ivan Yuen; Euro RSCG Appoints Tammy Sheu; Kawa Zhu Joins Ogilvy; Tencent and 2K Sports Partner for Online NBA Game; Xinhua Heads to Europe

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PepsiCo has opened its first overseas "green" plant in China in Chongqing. The facility is designed to use 22% less water and 23% less energy than the average PepsiCo plant in China and complies with rigorous sustainable engineering standards involving water and energy saving designs and an environmental management system.

The beverage facility "is the largest, most ambitious development effort we've undertaken in our more than 25 years of doing business here," said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo's chairman-CEO, at the launch event last week in Chongqing. "Despite the current uncertainty in many parts of the world, we have no doubt that China will remain a powerful engine of global economic expansion."

The plant is part of Pepsi's plans to invest $1 billion in the country over the next five years, to grow its manufacturing capacity in China, particularly in interior and western areas.

Over the next two years, the company expects to open five new beverage plants in Kunming, Zhengzhou, Quanzhou, Lanzhou and Nanchang. It also plans to invest in local research and development and broaden its portfolio of Chinese-designed and developed products such as Tropicana Guo Bin Fen juices, Lay's Lychee potato chips and Cao Ben Le drinks, which are inspired by traditional Chinese medicine.
Grey Group has hired Ivan Yuen as managing director of its Beijing office Previously, he was senior VP and demand team leader at McCann Erickson, Beijing, working on the agency's Intel business.

Mr. Yuen succeeds Tammy Sheu who spent four years at Grey and recently moved to Euro RSCG as group managing director of its operation in Beijing.
Ogilvy & Mather Advertising has appointed Kawa Zhu as general manager of its Guangzhou office, responsible for leading new business efforts, staff development and management. Previously, he was a marketing manager at Hopson, a real estate corporation in southern China. He succeeds Cathryn Chen, who resigned from the agency late last year.
Tencent Holdings has partnered with 2K Sports to co-develop and distribute the online version of the NBA 2K basketball game in China and other key Asian markets. 2K Sports has a multi-year license to develop the online simulation game, which will include all of the NBA teams, as well as current and retired NBA players.

Tencent is a leading player in China's online game industry as well as operator of a leading portal and instant messaging service. It had 411 million active user accounts and 58 million peak concurrent user accounts at the end of March 2009.

Leveraging its instant messaging user base, Tencent launched its game portal, QQ Game, in August 2004. Today, it is the largest online game platform in China, with 67 mini casual games, five advanced casual games and five massive multi-player online games.

Online gaming revenue grew 61% in 2008 compared to the previous year, to $2.75 billion. The market is expected to reach $8.9 billion in revenue by 2013, with nearly 120 million people playing games online.

China, where basketball is also extraordinarily popular, is the NBA's "fastest growing audience in the world," said Sal LaRocca, exec VP of the NBA's global merchandising group. Besides China, NBA 2K Online will be released in Taiwan, South Korea and parts of Southeast Asia.
China's government announced plans in January 2009 to invest $6.6 billion to expand the international presence of state-controlled media companies such as national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV); the state-run Xinhua News Agency and People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party.

As part of that effort the government in late April launched an English edition of the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper known for nationalist pro-Beijing content.

Now those efforts are moving overseas. Xinhua News Agency, which has a large number of international news bureaux around the world, will start running English-language news broadcasts on supermarket screens across Europe.

The broadcasts, Xinhua's first move into broadcasting, will also run on screens outside Chinese embassies. Specific information has not been disclosed but the content is believed to include news, features and lifestyle programming.

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