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HTC set to expand Chinese retail channels

2011/08/15 21:08:44

Taipei, Aug. 15 (CNA) HTC Corp., the world's No. 5 smartphone maker, plans to more than triple the size of its retail network in China by the end of this year to help boost sales in the fast-growing market, the company's CFO said Monday.

Because of the uniqueness of the retail business model in China, HTC will have its products distributed at 2,000 locations by the end of 2011, up from 650 locations at present, said HTC chief financial officer Winston Yung at an investors' conference held by the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

"China's telecom operators are less dominating and less willing to pay subsidies for smartphones compared with those in the United States," Yung said. "We will increase the number of open channels this year, which is critical to our strategy in China."

At a company investors' conference on July 29, HTC forecast that its market share in China would quadruple in 2011 from a year earlier, when the company began to sell its own-branded smartphones there.

Earlier this week, HTC announced it would launch as early as September a smartphone with built-in mobile payment capabilities provided by China UnionPay Co., the country's sole credit card processor.

The 4.3-inch "HTC Stunning" utilizes near-field communication (NFC) technology, which allows users to complete payments through banks' point-of-sale (POS) machines.

The handset also supports other functions, such as credit card payments, movie ticket reservations and mobile phone subscription fee payments.

In July, HTC introduced another smartphone, the "HTC Weike," that integrated Sina Corp's Twitter-like Weibo microblogging service, which had 140 million users as of May and aimed to expand to 200 million by the end of this year.

(By Jeffrey Wu)