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Sony to tap Gen Z for next stage of growth

Updated: June 7, 2023 Source: China Daily
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Takeshi Yoshida, president of Sony (China) Ltd. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Sony Group Corp will intensify efforts to expand investments in the Chinese entertainment sector and tap the immense consumption potential of Generation Z amid a recovery in the domestic economy, a senior executive of the Japanese consumer electronics company said.

Gen Z refers to those born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s.

The vitality of the Chinese market has been restored since the country optimized its COVID-19 response measures, said Takeshi Yoshida, president of Sony (China) Ltd.

He said Sony will focus on the segments that have recovered strongly in China, such as tourism, and launch new products, including cameras and smartphones.

The company's camera business, Yoshida said, has witnessed a robust rebound in China as the tourism industry has gathered steam, while its TV business has picked up relatively slowly due to the lukewarm property market.

The company will also strengthen promotions among online influencers and vloggers, or video bloggers, he added.

"Currently, more than half of Sony's global revenue comes from the entertainment business, which includes games, music and movies. However, hardware sales remain the major revenue contributor for Sony China," Yoshida said.

He emphasized that Sony would step up investments in the entertainment segment, which will also be its development focus in China.

According to Yoshida, the Chinese market, one of the most important ones for Sony, has undergone tremendous changes, and Gen Z has developed their own distinct personalities and ideas. So, Sony can achieve long-term and sustainable business growth in China only by satisfying their needs, he added.

Sony will reinforce the synergy between its content production and hardware products, he added. "We will give full play to the role of content, as well as promote hardware devices in combination with content, so as to form a differentiated competitiveness."

Sony has increased capital input in research and development in China. Its Sony R&D Center China focuses on entertainment such as metaverse in the short and medium term by leveraging its cutting-edge technologies in artificial intelligence, communication, sensors, robotics and 3D content production to boost its entertainment and electronics products.

Sony has established a studio for virtual cinematography in Shanghai by cooperating with Chinese partners, providing crystal light-emitting diode or LED display systems, professional cameras and monitors.

In addition, the company has joined hands with Japanese carmaker Honda Motor to set up a joint venture to develop the next-generation of electric vehicles. Yoshida said Chinese automakers have made great progress in electric vehicles. "We have already begun to conduct research on what we should do," he said.

Data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that foreign direct investment in the Chinese mainland, in terms of actual use, expanded 2.2 percent year-on-year to 499.46 billion yuan ($70.2 billion) in the first four months of the year.

Zhang Jianping, head of the center for regional economic cooperation at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the implementation of a new round of opening-up measures, such as the Foreign Investment Law, a shortened negative list for market entry and pilot free trade zones have created favorable conditions for foreign businesses to invest in China.

Editor: Tian Shenyoujia