– Pantech secures two year partnership with Rain to promote its brand in China
– Announcement comes as part of Pantech’s plans to capture 5% of the Chinese handset market within three years
SEOUL— South Korea’s second biggest mobile phone manufacturer – today announced that it has signed a two year partnership with Korean pop singer Rain to boost the profile of the Pantech brand in China, as part of the company’s plans to capture 5% of the Chinese handset market within three years.
Rain, who was a VIP guest at the MTV Video Music Awards 2005 in September in Miami, in the US, is one of the most popular singers in Asia, with a massive fan base in Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China. Last month, he performed to a sell out crowd at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing, China, while in June, tickets for the Tokyo leg of his ‘Rainy Day’ tour sold out in less than 30 seconds.
The two year deal represents a major step forward for Pantech, in that its brand will now be associated in China with one of Asia’s leading youth icons. Pantech has chosen to work with Rain as its brand ambassador on the basis that the singer’s key attributes – young, energetic, positive, trend setting – are so closely identifiable with the company’s own core brand values.
Sung-Kyu Lee, President & CEO, Pantech Co., Ltd., said: “China is an extremely important market for us and the association with Rain will help us to significantly boost our image among young Chinese phone users. The partnership will play a big role in helping us to realize our vision of becoming a major player in the fast growing Chinese handset market”.
“We already are in the process of rolling out our production and sales infrastructure in China but the brand building value of this association is going to be critical to our success in this market. Rain has a fan base of literally millions amongst young Chinese people, and we now have an opportunity to create lasting links with a sizeable segment of this group, who will be the handset consumers of today, tomorrow and the future” said Mr. Lee.
In recent months, Pantech has been steadily increasing its presence in the Chinese market. In July, the company announced the official launch of the Pantech brand in China and the introduction of a range of GSM handsets to the Chinese market.
At present, Pantech is the only Korean handset manufacturer that is licensed to produce both GSM and CDMA handsets in China. Last March, the company became the first foreign company to be awarded a GSM license in China following changes in the Chinese government’s mobile licensing policy.
By the end of this year, Pantech plans to sell products through a total of 5,000 retail outlets across 100 cities in China, with a target of securing brand awareness levels of at least 30% by 2007.
Pantech, through its affiliates – Pantech Co., Ltd., Pantech&Curitel Communications, Inc. and Pantech C&I Inc – is ranked second in the South Korean domestic market and marked as the seventh largest mobile handset manufacturer in the world. Pantech is also recognized as one of the world’s fastest growing providers of mobile communications solutions. Pantech has been responsible for a number of breakthrough innovations in the mobile technology sector, including the introduction in 2004 of the world’s first fingerprint recognition camera phone, as well as award winning camcorder and MP3 phones. In May 2005, Pantech affiliate Pantech&Curitel Communications, Inc. announced the acquisition of SK Teletech Co., Ltd., the fourth largest handset manufacturer in the Korean market. SK Teletech was originally the handset-manufacturing arm of SK Telecom, number one mobile network operator in Korea. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Pantech and SK Telecom plan to collaborate in joint research and development initiatives and will work together in the global expansion of their respective businesses into overseas markets, The SKY brand, marketed by SK Teletech, is the most popular premium handset brand in Korea. In August 2005, to facilitate the goal of Pantech becoming one of the world’s top five mobile handset brands, Pantech Co. and SK Teletech were merged under the Pantech organization. Pantech collectively has about 5,000 employees and a total of 20 regional sales offices worldwide. For more information on Pantech, please visit www.pantech.com or www.curitel.com.
‘Rain’ – born Jeong Ji-hun on 25 June 1982 in Seoul – is an award-winning male Korean R&B and pop singer who has built up a massive following across a number of East Asian countries, including Japan, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and Thailand, as well as in Korea. He is considered to be one of the leading lights of the Korean wave of popular culture that has swept Asia in recent years. Described as the ‘Asian Justin Timberlake’, Rain received the 2005 MTV Asia Aid Male Performer Award earlier this year. In May 2005, he was invited to the MTV Japan Awards as a performing artist, alongside international stars like Mariah Carey, Ashanti and Jamiroquai, the only non-Japanese Asian singer to perform at the event.