Handset makers Nokia and RIM both unveiled strategies yesterday to take on the China mobile internet market.
Nokia said it had joined forces with Shanghai investment company New Alliance to launch its Ovi services platform in mainland China.
They have formed a 50/50 JV - Nokia Alliance Internet Services Company - to offer music, location and other apps.
The new company aims to “work with local content developers to help bring their applications to market,” Nokia EVP of services Niklas Savander said.
The joint venture was “a natural step to help us bring locally relevant mobile services to Chinese consumers,” he said. The new business should be operational in January next year, with an initial workforce of around 80.
Separately, RIM announced plans to co-develop TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE BlackBerry handsets with China Mobile.
The partnership will also see China Mobile sell BlackBerry smartphones to SMBs and professional consumers. The operator currently markets the handsets only to enterprise customers.
RIM also intends to launch its own internet services in China next year, supporting email, IM and social networking sites, as well as content customized for China Mobile.
Both China Mobile and RIM plan to work with local developers to ensure the upcoming service has a quota of homegrown content.
“With these new business and technology initiatives, we believe that RIM and China Mobile will be in a strengthened position to serve Chinese customers and to jointly address the growing smartphone market opportunity in China,” RIM co-CEO Jim Baslsillie said.
China Mobile first began selling BlackBerry handsets in 2006.