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Razer developing gaming smartphone for release by the end of year

Device part of wider strategy to capture Chinese market as firm prepares to go public on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Razer has announced it will be bringing a dedicated gaming smartphone to the market by 2018.

Appearing on CNBC's Managing Asia, CEO and co-founder Min-Liang Tan outlined the company's plans for growing in China. Localisation, software, and the virtual credit system zGold all have a role to play, but Tan placed particular emphasis on the burgeoning mobile market.

"Mobile gaming is getting massive everywhere - US, Europe, China - and we hope to have products to serve the mobile gamer everywhere in the world," he said.

"One of the most hotly rumored things about Razer is that we're coming up with a mobile device. And I can say that we are coming up with a mobile device specifically geared toward gamers and entertainment.

"We're hoping to have it come... by the end of the year, so that's something we're working on," said Tan.

The news follows on from Razer's recent filing to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Tan didn't give an exact figure of how much the firm was hoping to raise with an IPO next month, but reports have suggested it could be anywhere between $3 billion and $5 billion.

He said: "We would love to have that war chest to allow us to invest in R&D. We are known to have disrupted many industries."

Razer's move into the mobile market has been a long time coming since it bought out Ouya in July 2015. While the acquisition ignored hardware, Razer swallowed up the employees, software assets, online store, branding, and catalogue of around 1,500 games.

Additionally Razer acquired Nextbit, the team behind the cloud powered Robin Android smartphone, in January of this year.

Tan said: "The way that we do things is that we want to find the best talent and bring them in. We want to learn how make products that we don't necessarily have the engineering talent for at the point in time. So Nextbit was our move in terms of getting great talent. These were some of the founding team members of Android at Google, because we wanted to get a lot more engineering talent from a mobile gaming perspective.

"Ouya was the same thing. We wanted to get from a game store perspective to understand, what else can we do for mobile gaming? And that's what we want to do, bring the best together, look at new categories or industries that we can disrupt."

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