AKN Messaging Technologies Bhd (AKN MTech) associate company Messaging Technologies (Hong Kong) Ltd (MTech) has paved the way for entry into China, following MTech's signing of a MOU on November 14 with China-based Golden Bridge Network (GBN) to form a new entity in China.

The market is expected to be worth US$1.8 billion by year-end. The first product launch will involve mobile phone ring tone and logo downloads.

AKN MTech managing director Lim Seng Boon said MTech would be the major stakeholder in the new company, with 80% interest, while GBN would have the remaining 20%. "We expect to finalise the details next month and the company should be operational by February next year," he told a reporter from theedgedaily.com. This would coincide with AKN MTech's expected completion of its merger exercise with MTech, which would turn the latter into a 100% subsidiary of AKN MTech. The merger agreement between the parties was signed in September.

Under the new entity in China, MTech would provide its expertise in wireless content and applications to combine with GBN's existing Internet content provider licence, said a company statement. MTech said this would allow the new entity to launch a complete range of mobile content and applications services in partnership with China's mobile network operators. It said negotiations with China Mobile, China's largest mobile network operator, had already begun.

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