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Tencent and Mitsui to help Japan companies market in China

SMEs to sell goods losing sales from lack of Chinese inbound tourists on WeChat

The Mitsui-Tencent joint venture under discussion would produce and promote e-commerce shops on the WeChat social media platform on behalf of the clients of Japanese companies. (Source photos by Kosaku Mimura and Reuters) 

TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. and China's Tencent are working to set up a joint venture to help Japanese companies market their goods and services to Chinese consumers in a bid to replace sales lost from the absence of Chinese inbound tourists, Nikkei has learned.

The new business will produce and promote e-commerce shops, advertisements and video contents on Tencent's WeChat platform on behalf of the clients of Japanese companies. While such marketing activities are commonly practiced on WeChat by Chinese companies, Japanese small and medium companies are not accustomed to the required application procedures and system adjustments.

Mitsui and Tencent are in discussions about details of the joint venture. The Japanese company is expected to own more than half of the shares.

Chinese tourists were big spenders in Japan in recent years, scooping up local products for their high quality on visits to the country. But that source of consumption has been shut off amid border restrictions spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

Client information would be stored in a data center in Japan owned by Tencent, which would boost the Chinese company's cloud services in Japan via Mitsui.

Tencent's tie-up with Mitsui follows a partnership with Tokyo Electric Power Company at the end of last year in electricity sales.

The gathering of big data by Chinese tech giants has been part of China-U. S. political tensions. According to Mitsui, the new service with Tencent would not involve collecting personal information or other actions under scrutiny by the U.S. government.

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