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OSAKA — Suntory Ltd., Japan’s leading whiskey producer, will transfer part of its Asian operations from Tokyo to Shanghai on Dec. 1 to strengthen its marketing strategy in China, company officials said Tuesday.

About seven to eight people from Suntory’s Asia and China Division will be transferred to Shanghai on a permanent basis.

The division, staffed by 18, oversees manufacturing and sales of beverages in markets such as Taiwan and Thailand where Suntory sells whiskey.

Suntory hopes the transfer will help it boost its share of beer sales in the growing Chinese market and to launch a new businesses in whiskey and flowers as early as next year, the officials said.

The company also hopes it will be able to use more flexible marketing policies in China by shortening the lag time between decision-making and sales, they said.

Suntory sells beer under the Suntory White and Suntory Gold brands in China and has annual sales there of around 15 billion yen, the top share of beer sales in Shanghai.

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