moto_cr.jpgMotorola
has signed a marketing deal with Gome, China's leading retailer, to
help it inch ahead in China's fast-growing but highly competitive
mobile phone market.

Under the deal the US giant will set up dedicated Motorola stores
within 30 of Gome's largest outlets. Motorola is already the
best-selling mobile phone brand in Gome stores, so the co-marketing
deal allows the Chinese firm to better promote one of its strongest
lines.

For example, the two firms will launch
“MOTO Month” in all Gome stores from mid-November to mid-December,
during which promotional prices will be available on Motorola products.

The retailing giant, which has more than 500 stores, told Reuters that it expects to sell 3m Motorola handsets next year, accounting for about 28% of Gome's total cellphone sales.

For Motorola, the accord allows it to reach parts of China that it
cannot reach with its small but growing network of own stores — see this EngagingChina story for more on Motorola's own-store strategy in China.

Motorola is currently battling to wrest back the number one spot
from Nokia in a market that it once led. In an increasingly
brand-conscious market, this deal is designed to help reinforce the
Motorola brand and fend off the competition, not just from foreign
brands like Nokia but also domestic challengers like Nimbo Bird.

Separately, Motorola has opened a broadband wireless research centre
in Beijing. The centre will focus on researching key technologies for
future broadband wireless systems and supposedly help develop global
standards — although to date most of the technology standards that
have come out of China have been far from global.

Motorola has nearly 3,000 engineers working in 18 R&D centres in
China, which it claims is the largest R&D presence of any western
company . It also has about 60 laboratory researchers working in China.


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