brings Disney to mobile phones in China

BEIJING: China's online media, communications, commerce and mobile value-added services company and the Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) have announced an agreement aimed at leveraging's China market expertise and consumer reach to deliver innovative Disney online and wireless content and services to China.



An official release informs that is providing design, production and hosting services for Disney's web site. The company has also licensed Disney Mobile Short Messaging Services (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) content for distribution via and the portal.

The release adds that the agreement follows a successful three-month trial cooperation in which Sohu built the official Chinese website for the Disney/Pixar animation hit Finding Nemo. The companies plan to expand into additional online content areas in the future.The Disney Mobile content distributed by is among the first Disney-branded mobile content available in China.

Colour wallpapers, animated cards, black and white logos and picture messages will feature Disney's favourite classic characters, including Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, as well as characters from modern Disney classics such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. Visitors to Disney Mobile on ( ) will be able to purchase the mobile content online and have it delivered directly to their mobile phone.

WDIG entered the mobile content market in 1999 with some of the first informational, text-based content services in the US. The following year, WDIG partnered with NTT DoCoMo on iMode in Japan to introduce the widely recognised Disney-i service including Disney branded graphics, ring tones, games and utilities. Today, Disney Mobile claims to be the number one premium mobile content provider in Japan. It is also a leading global content provider, with services available in 21 markets with 34 mobile carriers around the world., launched in August 2001, has been significantly re-designed as part of this agreement and will be made available to the millions of monthly visitors on the Sohu portal. As the official online presence for the Walt Disney Company China, contains the latest information and entertainment from Disney Mobile, Dragon Club TV, movies, home entertainment, publishing, music, consumer products, Disney On Ice and theme parks.

The site also features online entertainment such as games and activities based on Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, The Lion King and the popular Princess collection. Apart from residing on, Disney content and additional branded content owned by Disney including promotional content from Touchstone Pictures, Miramax, Hollywood Pictures, ABC and ESPN will also be integrated throughout the Sohu website.

The mobile phone market in China reached 250 million subscribers at the end of September 2003. An estimated two-thirds using messaging service on their handsets. The mobile phone market is expected to surpass 355 million subscribers by the end of 2005 ( BDA China, 2003). In 2002, value-added service mobile messaging in China generated $320 million in revenues, which are expected to grow to 3.3 billion in 2006 (China Online SMS Research Report, iResearch, August 2003).

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