Secure electronic transaction solutions provider Keycorp Limited yesterday announced that it had signed an agreement to take 30% equity in a new joint venture company in China.

Subject to the Chinese government authorities formally approving the joint venture, the company will develop and manufacture Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) systems using technology licensed from Keycorp. The joint venture, to be called POSTech CO, will be based in China's Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.

The majority partner in the joint venture, Hunan Computer Co (HCC), is a major manufacturer of computer and financial peripheral equipment in China, with 13 subsidiary companies and facilities in 47 cities throughout the country. A prime objective of the new joint venture is to take advantage of the escalating demand for EFTPOS terminals in China, where the government has set a target for the 2008 Olympics of 4.5 million units, up from the present installed base of around 300,000.

Initially the joint venture will manufacture Keycorp K23 payment terminals and K78 mobile wireless terminals. However the company will later develop new software products using Keycorp's Rapid Application Development Environment and new hardware products working closely with Keycorp's R&D team. These new products will be sold and supported in the Chinese market by HCC, but Keycorp will have the option to sell them outside China.


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