Chinese gaming giant Rekoo is to build its first office outside China in London’s Tech City, it was announced today.
Rekoo, which boasts 20 million daily gamers on personal computers and 10 million on smartphones, will become the first high-profile Chinese company to open a base in London's Tech City. One of the gaming giant’s biggest successes is the “Find Something” game, which is said to have been played by 100 million gamers.
The Beijing-based company, which has over 500 employees across Asia, said it will build a development team in Tech City and begin recruiting London-based staff. However, it only plans to hire 10 employees in the UK capital but said that should rise to 25 within three years.
Rekoo said the London office will act as its European headquarters and be used to market the company's games to consumers across the rest of the continent.
London already employs nearly 2,000 development staff across its studios and the city is home to a number of other high-profile gaming brands including Mind Candy, Batman and LittleBigPlanet.
Rekoo vice president Lisa Pan said that opening an office in Tech City will allow Rekoo to “be the bridge between the European and Chinese mobile gaming markets.”
“Companies in the UK produce very high quality games, and being in London means we can attract world-class talent and find new business opportunities with UK and European developers,” she added.
Rekoo's move to London coincided with a visit to China by chancellor George Osborne and London mayor Boris Johnson, who are trying to attract Chinese investment as part of plans to increase bilateral trade to $100 billion (£62.5 billion) by 2015.
Osborne said: "There are huge opportunities for us to work with Chinese companies in tech, and this announcement proves that Britain is a fantastic destination from them to locate and grow."
Johnson claimed that London’s "dynamic" tech cluster now runs from King's Cross to Whitechapel and boasts just under 50,000 tech-related jobs.
"As a leading light in China’s tech scene, Rekoo’s decision is another huge boost for the capital’s digital industries," he said. "Making the most of the great minds, talented workforce, and market opportunities within immediate access of our Tech City makes absolute sense which is why London is fast becoming the digital capital of the world.”
Rekoo's plan to invest in London follows a series of deals by Chinese companies in Britain in recent days, such as the business district at Manchester Airport that will be built by Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG), the UK's Carillion Plc and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, and the £500 million rebuild of Crystal Palace by a Chinese billionaire.
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