Jünger Audio has become the latest European broadcast audio manufacturer to establish a direct outlet in China, writes Kevin Hilton.
The German processing and loudness monitoring specialist has opened an office in Beijing to have access to what is regarded as a potentially lucrative market.
China is now rated as the second biggest economy in the world, with growth estimated at nine percent a year. Jünger Audio China is headed by Jian Gao (pictured), who was previously marketing director at Loud Tech Inc and has long experience of the broadcast and professional audio industry.
Peter Poers, managing director of Jünger Audio, said that having the new venture run by a Chinese national was important. "First there is the language barrier," he said, "and second, business should be done in China by Chinese people."
According to Poers a combination of "improved international relations, an expanding economy and increased foreign investment" has made China "a very attractive proposition for European companies".
The 2008 Beijing Olympics was a major showcase for China and Poers acknowledged that then might have been the time for a European company to start trying to break into the market. "But now we are finding an immediate interest in what we are offering," he says.
Loudness control is of particular interest to China's national and regional broadcasters, all of which are under state control. Jünger Audio is dealing with CCTV, Beijing TV, Shanghai TV and Jiangsiu TV, which is in charge of developing loudness systems for the government. "Jiangsiu TV invited us to be a participate and we now feel like we have been in the country for years," said Poers.
With the growing potential of China as a customer Poers said the decision was taken for Jünger Audio to change the way it distributed its products to the Chinese mainland. "Looking at the whole of the South East Asia market China is too big to distribute to from Singapore," he commented.
China is now the largest pay-TV market in the world, having overtaken the US. Carl Hibbert, lead broadcast industry analyst at Futuresource Consulting, says this sector, while still in its infancy, is on "an upwards curve". HD is being rolled out, with growing demand for set-top boxes. "This is going to be beneficial to manufacturers, with a growing demand for specialist products from broadcasters," Hibbert observed.
Peter Poers certainly hopes this will be the case but is confident that Jünger Audio has what Chinese broadcasters are looking for. "The quality of products we can offer does not exist there right now," he concluded.