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.
Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo is set to widen its international footprint after announcing plans to establish a business in Brazil, which will become its first presence in Latin America.
The company is investing 5.1 million BRL (approximately $2.55 million) to open the wholly-owned subsidiary which will be based in Sáo Paulo. Like the Singapore subsidiary that DoCoMo announced in November, its Brazilian operation will focus on providing services for Japanese corporate customers in the country, as well as researching business opportunities in other parts of the fast-growing Latin American market.
DOCOMO Brasil Serviços de Telecomunicaçáo will be headed up by company president Hiroaki Obuchi, and will initially have a head count of just two people.
Brazil and Japan have strong ties. Japanese immigrants began arriving in the country in the early part of the twentieth century and Brazil has the largest population of Japanese citizens in the world, outside of Japan, of course. Although somewhat dated, figures from 2000 estimated that at least 1.4 million people of Japanese descent resided in Brazil. (Wikipedia has an interesting entry on the history between the two countries.)
DoCoMo has businesses and investments in a range of international countries across Asia, Europe and North America. Given the growth of the Web and smartphones in Latin America — the Wall Street Journal recently dubbed Brazil “the social media capital of the universe” — it is not surprising to see it extend its presence to the continent.
Related: Japan’s DoCoMo hits 10 million LTE subscribers, doubling its numbers in 6 months and Japan’s DoCoMo launches $109m incubator program, partners and invests in 500 Startups
Headline image via Toshifumi Kitamura / Getty Images
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