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Monday, January 26, 2009
Sony opens Blu-ray plant in China
Just two months after Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced it will begin to offer select Blu-ray movies to the Chinese market, Sony has opened a Blu-ray manufacturing plant in Shanghai, China.
Sony will work with the Shanghai Media Group to produce up to 500,000 Blu-ray discs per month at the 130,000 square foot facility. The Japanese electronics company hopes to have 200 full-time employees working at the new facility as soon as possible.
At least 32 Blu-ray movie titles are already available in China, with Sony aiming to have 100 released before the end of 2009. Sony already has Blu-ray disc plants in the United States, Japan and Austria.
Sony's likely going to have to restructure and cut more jobs, and the Chinese market is flooded with $1 illegal DVDs, so it will be interesting to see if both companies involved will be able to convince consumers to spend up to $30 per Blu-ray disc.
Having a manufacturing plant in the country will allow Sony to better combat piracy by avoiding import permits and taxes while also releasing movies to consumers faster. Blu-ray is growing in the country, with Pioneer, Panasonic and Sony importing Blu-ray players into the market -- China Hualu also has three Blu-ray players that have been made inside China.