Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne watches a designer creating a character for an online game at a company in Shenzhen. (Reuters)
China's largest social gaming company, Rekoo, is opening a unit in London's Tech City, as it looks to penetrate the European market with some new titles.
It will be the first mainland Chinese firm to operate in the burgeoning cluster of digital start-up companies in the east end of London, known as Tech City. Initially, Rekoo will hire 10 people for its Tech City office with plans to expand the headcount to 25 within three years.
Rekoo has 500 employees across Asia, and 20 million active daily PC gamers and 10 million phone gamers across the globe. Its Japanese subsidiary employs 30 people. It generates some tens of millions of dollars in yearly revenues, and more than half of them come from mobile games.
The London office will work as a business development team, marketing games to European consumers and localising them to suit customer preferences.
Rekoo vice president Lisa Pan said the London office will act as a bridge between mobile gaming markets in China and Europe.
"Companies in the UK produce very high quality games," Pan said, adding that "being in London means we can attract world-class talent and find new business opportunities with UK and European developers".
Rekoo will also work with European and UK-based partners to publish their products in Asia. Rekoo intends to take advantage of the protection of local laws in exporting more European games to China, according to Pan.
'Huge Boost' for London's Gaming Industry
London Mayor Boris Johnson and Chancellor George Osborne welcomed Rekoo's decision to open operations in London, Europe's biggest games software market and the third largest in the world.
"As a leading light in China's tech scene, Rekoo's decision is another huge boost for the capital's digital industries," said Johnson.
"Making the most of the great minds, talented workforce, and market opportunities within immediate access of our Tech City makes absolute sense which is why London is fast becoming the digital capital of the world."
"There are huge opportunities for us to work with Chinese companies in tech, and this announcement proves that Britain is a fantastic destination from them to locate and grow," said Osborne.
Rekoo joins a group of Chinese firms that includes ABP, Dalian Wanda and Zhongrong, which have recently invested in London. Meanwhile, Chinese telecoms equipment firm Huawei is planning to build a $200m (£125m) research and development facility in Britain.
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