According to this press prelease, NTT DOCOMO has established DOCOMO China Co., Ltd. as a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai, China. DOCOMO China will focus mainly on providing mobile solutions for corporate customers, especially locally based Japanese companies. The office is expected to begin operating from the end of July, once the necessary governmental and commercial approvals have been obtained.
We pinged Bruno Bensaid, our fine collegue who runs Mobile Monday Shanghai, for his comments about this development:
For Docomo, I can just say they already had an office here, but they want to position themselves for future possible investments in the reorganized telecom players, the same way SK invested in China Unicom a few years ago. It will make even more sense now that the 3 new players are moving into 3G and converged online/TV/mobile services (not with the same technologies, but they are all equipped to do it one way or another). Really hard to anticipate much more at the moment, because China is far from being open to having a 4th – non-chinese – operator and therefore any move from foreign players has to be effected though minority investments in existing carriers.