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Stringer outlines Sony’s strategy for China

Sony CEO Howard Stringer has confirmed the company’s commitment to expanding its business in China, denying that political tensions with Japan could stand in the way.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer has confirmed the companyâs commitment to expanding its business in China, denying that political tensions with Japan could stand in the way.

Speaking at a recent press conference, Stringer said: "Sony is a global company with 70 percent of its earnings outside Japan and so local politics like that is less clear and appropriate for me to comment on."

"I have never actually met any Japanese politicians and I seem to be doing fine. We look forward to a continuing strong relationship with China in many years to come and growing our business."

Diplomatic relations between Japan and China have become increasingly strained recently, most notably following a visit by Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi to a war memorial. China and South Korea have protested that there are 14 convicted war criminals amongst the 2 million Japanese who are honoured by the memorial.

Earlier this year there was also controversy over a set of Japanese textbooks which described the killing of 250,000 Nanjing citizens by Japanese soldiers as an âincidentâ rather than a "massacre". Chinese protestors consequently called for a boycott of Japanese products, and Sony China's own website was the victim of an attack by hackers.

But the company claims its products are selling just as well as they did six months ago, according to an Associated Press report. But they concede that there's definitely room for growth - Sony China president Kei Kodera said the company's products currently reach 10-20 per cent of the market, adding that: "At this moment we are quite confident about growth in China in the next four to five years. We expect quite steady growth."

Sony currently has around 21,000 employees in China and plans to recruit more staff and use more software that has been developed locally. Sony China is also likely to be unaffected by recently announced job cuts, with Kodera confirming: "China is one of the few countries where I believe we are free from restructuring."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.