Japan's DeNA looks beyond Alibaba to target Chinese market

DeNA has announced a joint venture with China's NetDragon to develop and operate games in the country

Japanese mobile platform operator DeNA has made another move to expand its business in China by partnering with local company NetDragon Websoft to develop and operate mobile games in the country.

DeNA announced the joint venture with the Chinese online game developer on Tuesday. The joint venture will localize DeNA's non-Chinese games for the country's smartphone market, and distribute them through DeNA's and NetDragon's platforms in China.

DeNA announced the partnership after stating in December that its Mobage gaming platform will be loaded on phones running a mobile OS developed by a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. The Aliyun mobile OS will feature the Mobage gaming platform on a new smartphone scheduled to launch in China early this year.

DeNA's joint venture with NetDragon will give the Japanese company another avenue to tap China's mobile game market. NetDragon operates its own web portal and app store in China that features mobile games for different smartphone operating systems. NetDragon has more than 40 million users of its smartphone app store.

The joint venture company, which will be formally established in this year's first quarter, will initially have 30 employees. The joint venture will also develop original games meant for the global market.

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Michael Kan

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