Updated: 2009-02-20 17:54
Bertelsmann Group, Europe's biggest media group, announced on Friday that it has established a joint venture in China with two leading local mobile phone distributors, its first foray into the country's booming logistics market.
The joint venture, to be based in Shenzhen, will distribute mobile phones to designated handset retailers.
Arvato Services, Bertelsmann's subsidiary, will take a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, and the rest will be held by Telling Group and Sinomaster Group, both of which are based in Shenzhen, the German media giant said.
The logistics company is expected to distribute at least 10 million mobile phones in 2009, according to Raoul Kuetemeier, president of the new venture.
The new firm will set its future sights on e-commerce, its management said.
It has signed up Taobao.com, China's largest online auction website, and Suning Appliance, the country's leading appliance retailer, as its customers.
Bertelsmann established its business in China in 1995 by introducing its world-renowned book clubs, which were closed in June last year due to poor performance.
The company has now shifted its attention to China's logistics market, according to Cui Juan, supervisor of its public relations department.
The Telling Group is a distributor of mobile communication products, as an agent for brands such as Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
The Sinomaster Group has 100,000 handset outlets in third- and fourth-tier cities.