China UniponPay, the only domestic credit card organization in China and Shanghai Media Group (SMG), one of the mainland's largest media companies, have formed an agreement to explore online payment solutions and integrate digital TV with e-commerce and financial payment solutions.
The companies say they will build a new payment model using multiple platforms such as digital TV, mobile TV and internet TV.
By the end of last year, 130 million web users in China were buying products and services online, with e-commerce revenue reaching RMB 267 billion, a 91% year-on-year increase. Online sales via digital TV, IP TV, mobile phone TV, and internet TV are expected to hit RMB 490 billion in 2010.
The Anta-branded site, located at Sports.sina.com.cn, will include news, pictures and videos, a databank, interview blogs, interactive zones and product zones.
The three-way marketing partnership will include marketing and sporting events such as the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"The influence and popularity of Anta Sports and other first-tier domestic sportswear brands are growing by the day, quickly narrowing the gap with major international brands," said Ding Shizhong, chairman-CEO of Anta, which is based in JinJiang in Fujian province.
Japanese consumers can now buy goods from Taobao merchants in China through a new web site, Yahoo! Japan China Mall (chinamall.yahoo.co.jp). Chinese consumers, meanwhile, can buy Yahoo! Japan goods online through the new TaoJapan (taojapan.com) site.
Consumers from both countries will be able to buy products available in the other country exactly in the same way as they normally shop from e-commerce platforms in their own country, bypassing the usual barriers such as language, delivery logistics, and legal and payment issues.
The initial service includes tens of millions of items on Yahoo! Japan China Mall and about eight million on Taobao's TaoJapan. Both companies intend to expand the number of products.
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said Mr. Neumann "will break new ground in China, both in terms of business development and as an expert in future technologies."
A respected manager, electronics engineer and expert in hybrid and electric cars, Mr. Neumann is arriving in a country where VW has experienced explosive growth. Last year, VW group sales rose nearly 37% to a record 1.4 million units. China will play a key role in Volkswagen's drive to be the world's largest automaker by 2018. The company plans to build a new assembly plant in the southern China city of Foshan, and is rumored to be considering a second plant in south China.
Mr. Neumann first joined VW in 1999, as head of electronics research and electronics strategy, later taking charge of electronics at the Volkswagen brand. He left VW to join Continental in 2004 and was CEO of that company from 2008 through 2009. He is a possible contender to succeed Mr. Winterkorn, but has not yet joined VW's management board.
--reported by Automotive News, which is published by Crain Communications, the parent company of Advertising Age
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