Geschäftsabschluss © / C. O. Bruch

Chinese investors eye Hamburg's digital industry

Smaato receives takeover proposal from China's Spearhead. Chinese focusing on Hamburg's other sectors

The Beijing-based Spearhead has made a proposal to acquire Smaato in Hamburg for USD 148 million, Smaato has confirmed. Approval by the regulatory authorities and both companies’ supervisory boards is still pending. Spearhead counts among the leaders of China’s PR and advertising industry and Chinese companies are now showing interest in other sectors and not only in Hamburg’s flourishing, digital and advertising industry.

European headquarters in Hamburg

Founded in 2005, Smaato offers a global; free to use self-service platform and ad server that brings native, video and real-time advertising to over 90,000 mobile app developers and publishers. The company employs 210 people from 30 nations. Smaato is headquartered in San Francisco and has 110 staff at the European headquarters in Hamburg. The firm also has offices in New York and Singapore and is to due to open another branch in Shanghai with which Hamburg is twinned, Petra Vorsteher, founder of Smaato, told the weekly “Die Welt”.

Chinese companies expanding abroad

Smaato delivers instant global reach of over 1 billion unique mobile users each month outside of China through Smaato’s global app developers and mobile publishers. Launching on the Chinese market would give the company access to another 1 billion people. Speaking to Hamburg News, Petra Vorsteher, who is also a Hamburg Ambassador and promotes the city on an honorary basis abroad, said: “We are really delighted as we chose to target this investor.” Nothing will change for employees in the Hamburg branch. She added: “We certainly need more Chinese-language staff. Otherwise, things will remain the same.”

International networking

Lars Anke, Chief Representative of Hamburg Business Development Corporation (HWF) and head of the Hamburg Liaison Office in Shanghai, said: “China’s economy is becoming more international as it searches for markets for goods, services and capital. This shows the increasing modernisation of the Chinese economy as expressed by the government’s “Made in China 2025” strategy.” He added: “New developments such as those brought about by the innovative Hamburg start-up branch are of special interest. The co-operation between Spearhead and Smaato is a good example of international networking based on the IT service sectors.”

Hamburg high-tech factory to be sold to Chinese

Dutch chip producer NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced Tuesday an agreement to sell its Standard Products business plant in Hamburg-Loktsted to a consortium consisting of Beijing Jianguang Asset Management Co. Ltd and Wise Road Capital Ltd. The consortium will pay around USD2.75 billion for the business. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, pending regulatory approvals and employee representative consultations. On completion, the NXP Standard Products business will be rebranded Nexperia and be headquartered in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The plant in Hamburg has a workforce of 800 and is considered the core of the new company, according to the daily Hamburger Abendblatt.

China eyeing Hamburg’s games sector

Youzu Interactive Co, Ltd. took over the Hamburg-based games developer, Bigpoint, in April 2016. Bigpoint und Youzu will form a global market platform for online and mobile games and will have significant market shares in over 200 countries. Bigpoint GmbH develops computers and video games for wide-ranging target groups. Their best-known games included Farmerama, DarkOrbit, Seafight, Drakensang Online and Battlestar Galactica Online.

China is most important for industry in port of Hamburg

China is by far the most important trade partner with a 29 per cent share of total container handling in the port of Hamburg. A 12-strong business delegation from the port of Hamburg including representatives of BUSS Port Logistics, Brunsbüttel Ports, TCO Transcargo, CLC China Logistic Center, H.S.H. Schleppgesellschaft and the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) is set to travel to China in mid June.

Stops include Shanghai, Ningbo, Tianjin and Beijing where they will promote the port of Hamburg and hold talks with Chinese companies and port representatives, Hafen Hamburg Marketing (HMM) announced.

Similar trips to other Asian markets, which are of particular interest to the port industry, are being planned. Hamburg has already attracted many Asian companies with over 550 Chinese firms settling in the city and another 100 from Japan, 50 from Taiwan and others from South Korea and Southeast Asia. Anke noted: “These trips offer very good opportunities for keeping up existing contacts and sealing new ones.”

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