Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Foxconn is upping its focus on social media after it announced plans to invest up to $9.6 million in mobile social network Mig33, via its Foxconn International Holdings business.
Mig33 began as a feature phone-based social network, but it branched out into smartphones with a major revamp last year that positioned it as a microblogging platform. The site claims 3.8 million monthly active users, and it recently expanded its focus on celebrity and musician fan engagement with the acquisition of Deadoralive.com.
Details of the Foxconn investment are basic at this point. FIH will invest an initial $2.2 million in Mig33, with a view to increasing that by $7.4 million once its parent company completes a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange. Mig33 will open a development center in Taiwan — near Foxconn HQ — which the company says will focus on “business development efforts and extending the company’s reach into the mobile ecosystem”.
We spoke to Steven Goh, CEO of Project Goth, the company that owns Mig33. While he didn’t confirm any specific tie-ins between the two companies, pre-bundling Mig33 on devices seems a key goal. Goh is aiming to have the app loaded on 10 million new devices per month from the start of 2015, which is around one quarter of Foxconn’s monthly output.
“FIH can’t guarantee anything, as typically their deals are pure hardware only, but the company would be a peak connection in Asia. There are only one or two organizations out there with that much influence in phones, so you can imagine the doors that this deal is going to open,” Goh told TNW.
Best known as the company that builds Apple’s iPhones and devices for other smartphone players, Foxconn has spent the last year or so diversifying its business. During that time it has set up a fund for wearable technology, unveiled its own smartwatch, bid for a 4G license in Taiwan, launched a crowdfunding platform, and more.
Headline image via AFP/Getty Images
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