The gain made it the most valuable company in the world, worth about $100 million more than the former No. 1 company, U.S.-based Exxon Mobil. Three other Chinese companies, Industrial Bank of China, China Mobile and China Petroleum, also rank among the largest companies in the world.
China's economy overtook Germany in size in January 2009, becoming the third-largest market in the world. China is expected to surpass the No. 2 economy, in Japan, within three or four years.
The Atlanta-based broadcaster's move into MMOG is the result of the "growing importance of online gaming, especially for kids in Asia," said Karen Cho, a spokeswoman for the company in Hong Kong. "Gaming leads chatroom/blogs as the most popular online activity for kids."
Cartoon Network has 10 localized web destinations in the region, offering games, blogs and videos.
"Statistics show that kids spend the longest time on Cartoon Network websites in the region, and we feel that it is our role as the leading kids' entertainment provider to show kids what fun online gaming is really about," said Benjamin Grubbs, Turner's Hong Kong-based regional director, interactive media.
In partnership with TurnOut Ventures, Turner is also developing MMOG platforms for its Ben 10 Omniverse and Tom and Jerry shows launching later this year and in 2010 respectively.
Turner is doing on-line, on-air and event marketing for the games and is talking to marketers about sponsorship and branded content opportunities, Ms. Cho said.
The company's Shangai-based founder-CEO, Micky Fung, said the in-taxi entertainment system will add other cities in the next 12 months and that international launches are being considered. Touchmedia has more than 100,000 taxis under contract and operates in four cities--Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
F&P has been hurt by the drop in sales caused by the global recession as well as the weakened state of the New Zealand dollar. As part of the deal, Haier will distribute F&P products in China, giving the company greater access to a growing market. Haier, meanwhile, is eager to pursue an ongoing international expansion strategy. Haier already has manufacturing plants and a distribution network in the U.S.
The Publicis Groupe agency has also appointed Singaporean Keat Soh as exec creative director of its Beijing office. Previously, he was a creative consultant at McCann Erickson, Hong Kong. He has also worked at Young & Rubicam as regional creative director, Asia/Pacific and creative director of BBDO Worldwide, Shanghai.
"Many local and international challenger brands have become quite sophisticated now, but if you are a number two, three or four brand in China, it is very difficult to overtake the number one brand. One of my challenges is to help these brands create a strong communications strategy to do so," Mr. Soh said.
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