Mitsubishi Corp. and publisher Shufunotomo Co. said Monday they will set up a joint venture in Shanghai in April to distribute Japanese magazine articles and comics to local publishers.

The move is in response to the growing popularity of Japanese fashion and music among Chinese people, officials of the two companies said.

The local publishers will translate articles supplied by the two firms into Chinese. Foreign companies are not allowed to publish magazines in China, the officials said.

The venture, to be capitalized at $400,000, will be owned 51 percent by Mitsubishi and 49 percent by Shufunotomo, a general publisher in Tokyo handling a range of products, from periodicals to books.

It will also sell English texts published by Obunsha Co.

Itochu-Tingtong tieup

Itochu Corp. said Monday it will purchase a 50 percent stake in distribution service provider Tingtong (Cayman Islands) Holding Corp. for $10 million in April to enhance its distribution business in China.

The Shanghai-based distribution company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese food company Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corp.

Itochu President Uichiro Niwa said, “We will provide small-lot goods delivery services on behalf of Japanese food makers, drugmakers and cosmetics manufacturers operating in China.”

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