Flipboard has launched a separate business unit for China. Called Flipboard China, the unit is formed as the result of a joint venture between Flipboard and communication group BlueFocus.
You must be know Flipboard for the news aggregation and social network aggregation company it is. However, many of the company’s potential customers in China (and there are a lot of them) don’t. This is because of the fact that while the Palo Alto, California based company maintained offices in Beijing (along with New York and Vancouver) its activities were severely constrained due to the various regulatory hurdles put up by China for foreign companies looking to operate in the country.
In partnering with BlueFocus, the company is taking the route adopted by many corporations looking to make a presence for themselves in China. The joint venture with the Chinese company will ease the way for Flipboard China and allow it to pursue its activities with significantly greater freedom. While the unit will operate in the mainland China, Flipboard’s international team will continue to take care of Hong Kong and Taiwan.
As per Venturebeat, Flipboard has over 6 million users in China. However, the company still sees plenty of scope for growth in the country and towards the same, has partnered up with the local entity.
Commenting on the partnership, Hugo Buret, Flipboard’s vice president of business development said,
It’s a market that needs to be tackled differently in a way we tackle other markets, both culturally and legally. Some partnerships must be tackled with a local entity. The new autonomous structure means that Flipboard China will establish its own local infrastructure, meaning that the app will become faster due to reduced latency.
Flipboard China is already different from its international variants and resorts to unique practices in order to cater to its users. For example, considering that most international social networks are banned in the country, it has partnered with local platforms so as to provide news. As such, the move to separate it from the main entity merely cements a process that begun long ago.
Flipboard China meanwhile, is now for all purposes a startup in its own right. It has full autonomy and can launch new products and seek external investments as well. Meanwhile, Flipboard will have a majority stake in the company and the two may collaborate together as well for their mutual interests.
Meanwhile, the partnership with BlueFocus, a brand that works with high quality, premium clients, will also allow Flipboard China to tap into a very lucrative market that has clients willing to pay well for a high-end platform.
Speaking on the partnership, BlueFocus vice president Lucia He said,
The partnership between BlueFocus and Flipboard was built to create synergies to the maximum which benefit both parties. The promising China market and the extensive partner network behind BlueFocus will pave the way for the expansion of Flipboard’s business in the sector of intelligent news aggregator in China. We believe this will ultimately bring benefits to its users.