Wavecom Opts For China's "Silicon Valley" For First Permanent Mainland Presence

Representative Office Formally Opens October 30th.
Issy-les-Moulineaux, France and Beijing, PRC -October 30, 2002

Wavecom (Nasdaq: WVCM; Euronext Nouveau Marche: 7306), the world’s number one provider of integrated wireless modules and a major technology partner for China’s fast-growing wireless manufacturing sector, today announced the official opening of its first representative office in China, in Beijing’s fast-emerging “Silicon Valley” district of Zhongguancun.

Wavecom has been working with Mainland Chinese customers since 1999. China is the company’s largest single market in its largest region. Sales in Asia-Pacific accounted for 87.2 per cent of Wavecom’s third quarter 2002 revenues of €171 million.

“Opening a representative office is the latest milestone in our continuing commitment to markets in Asia, and China in particular,” said Jean-Charles Andreani, managing director of Wavecom Asia-Pacific Limited.

Wavecom’s Beijing Representative Office is located in Zhongguancun, a hub of technology operations to the northwest of the capital that is increasingly regarded as China’s “Silicon Valley”. The new office gives Wavecom executives closer and speedier access to local customers and China’s wireless communications market, particularly in northern and central parts of the country.

The office is headed by Chief Representative Officer Haibo Zhu. “We already have half a dozen local staff and we expect this figure to reach 30 within six months to a year,” he said.

Wavecom’s WISMOs are found in many of the leading local brand mobile phones sold in China. Prominent handset providers, such as TCL and Soutec, use WISMOs to speed up product development cycles in order to get new, feature-rich products to market more efficiently.

China’s mobile market is expected to continue to grow in spite of the global economic downturn. According to the technology consulting company Made for China Insight, handset production is expected to reach 232.8 million a year by 2005, up from 80 million in 2001. By 2005, China could be the source of one third of the world’s mobile phones.

Wavecom recently appointed Elcoteq to assemble and test WISMO products at its factory in the Beijing Economic Technological Development Area. The move strengthens Wavecom’s manufacturing capabilities in Asia and adds further support to its fast-growing customer base in the region as well as in other global markets. Such a partnership also further demonstrates Wavecom’s commitment to the mainland China market.