NEC Corp. and Matsushita Communication Industrial Co. said Monday they have established a joint venture with a local firm in China to expand their third-generation mobile handset business.

Founded April 27, Cosmobic Technology Co. is capitalized at $8 million, with NEC and Matsushita each holding a 47 percent stake, the major electronics companies said in a joint statement.

The remaining 6 percent is owned by Huawei Technologies Co., a major Chinese manufacturer of telephone base stations and other telecommunications infrastructure systems.

Cosmobic will secure licenses related to core communications software technology from NEC and Matsushita, and sub-license them to handset and semiconductor manufacturers.

Among other operations, Cosmobic will develop application software under contract with such manufacturers.

Kicking off operations at the end of June, Cosmobic will seek to accelerate the penetration of 3G mobile handsets and mobile Internet technologies not only in China but also in the global market.

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