AnnouncementsBigHitUMGBig Hit Entertainment (Big Hit) and Universal Music Group (UMG) announced an expanded strategic partnership that will see the two companies work closely together to increase opportunities for artists through innovation and technology, whilst expanding the global reach of K-pop music and culture around the world.

UMG artists will explore enhanced “direct to fan” communications through Big Hit’s Weverse, a dynamic community-based platform that allows loyal artist fans to engage, share and interact, see, and hear new content and purchase new products. This follows the announcement that UMG has become an equity investor alongside Big Hit, YG Entertainment and Kiswe in KBYK’s VenewLive premium live streaming platform.

Making the joint announcement via KBYK’s VenewLive platform, the two companies also announced the exciting details of a history making project to assemble and debut a new global K-pop boy group together in the U.S. for the first time. The new artist project will be released under a new JV label to be created between Big Hit, the global powerhouse team behind the phenomenal worldwide success of Grammy-nominated group BTS, in partnership with UMG’s Geffen Records, a historic label that has helped shape global youth and musical culture over the past 40 years through iconic artists including: Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Elton John and Avicii, alongside 2021’s breakthrough global pop artist Olivia Rodrigo, to name a few. The newly created label will operate from Los Angeles and will work closely alongside teams from Big Hit America, Geffen Records and UMG to successfully launch this project.

Big Hit will utilize its global expertise to lead the discovery, training and development of new artists, fan content production processes, and management of fan communications through the Weverse platform. In addition to working closely with a U.S. media partner to produce the audition program, the team at Geffen Records will leverage their extensive industry network and partners to oversee the music production, marketing, and global distribution operations.

AnnouncementsEyeseeEyeSee kicks off 2021 by broadening its global reach and capabilities with a new sales office in Singapore and an operations office in Mexico City.

EyeSee has been steadily doubling in size every year to meet the growing demand for agile & scalable behavioral research from clients. Relying exclusively on online research technology (remote eye tracking and emotion tracking through facial expression) EyeSee was able to serve clients in all geographies from its beginnings, conducting research in 40+ countries. However, the fruitful relationships EyeSee forged with its clients drive demand for further global growth in exciting markets such as the APAC region and real-time support in North America.

The Singapore office will continue to develop EyeSee's key accounts in the APAC region and will be led by Tom Vande Moortel,

AnnouncementsMediaOutreachMedia OutReach, the first global newswire founded in Hong Kong in 2009, announces its business expansion into China. The partnership with Xinhua Finance Agency (XFA) is a strategic one as XFA has a thorough understanding of local client needs from working closely with the business community in the country.

XFA has a close partnership with Xinhua News Agency and is a member of the Belt and Road Economic Information Partnership (BREIP). The BREIP was initiated by Xinhua News Agency and co-founded by more than 30 news and information service agencies in countries along the Belt and Road (B&R) routes, with the aim to promote communication and cooperation among the B&R countries through information services. As a member of BREIP, XFA has an extensive connection to the news and information industry and is well positioned to provide comprehensive press release distribution across China in its alliance with Media OutReach.

This partnership is further strengthened with XFA's commitment to act as Media OutReach's content partner in China and across the B&R countries. All news releases distributed by Media OutReach will be posted on all news sites of XFA comprising three different languages, ensuring high visibility among business communities.

Media OutReach brings PR professionals, journalists, and editors in China closer together to foster an all-inclusive system of information distribution. This helps PR professionals build media relations with journalists and editors in their target regions.

AppointmentsMutantAward-winning public relations and content marketing agency Mutant has appointed branding and communications veteran Archana Menon as its Country Head for Malaysia.  

In her new role, Menon will be responsible for overseeing and growing Mutant’s business in Malaysia, offering specialist services in branding, content development, PR and digital marketing to both existing and new clients and driving results that boost sales, leads, and customer retention.

Menon, who was previously Country Head for Ruder Finn Malaysia, brings more than 14 years of experience in integrated communications, media planning and branding to the agency. Having worked across a variety of sectors, including property, healthcare, technology and telecommunications, Menon’s diverse track record includes strategic counsel and crisis management for local and regional SMEs, startups and government bodies.

Menon’s appointment supports Mutant’s broader plans for the region, including its goal of becoming a full-service, integrated agency, with new digital marketing and branding offerings.

AppointmentsSAP SESAP SE announced the appointment of Paul Marriott as President for Asia Pacific Japan (APJ).

Building on SAP's success and presence over the past 32 years in the APJ region, Marriott will be responsible for leading and driving SAP's growth spanning Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, the Indian subcontinent and South East Asia, continuing the region's role as a global growth engine for the company. He will report to Scott Russell, SAP Executive Board member, Customer Success.

A technology veteran and established business leader with more than 25 years of experience in Asian economies, Marriott was most recently the region's Chief Operating Officer (COO) where he was instrumental in developing the workforce of tomorrow and accelerating cloud growth and customer success.

AppointmentsHGCGlobalHGC Global Communications Limited (HGC) announced the appointment of Lee Kwan as Chief Network Officer, with immediate effect.

Following the recent integration of IT and related functions to the Network Engineering division, Lee will lead the team to further facilitate and streamline the operation by continuous development, engineering and support for the local network and IT to ensure the best services for customers. This initiative will underpin HGC's continuous business development and reinforce the group's position as a leading local and global telecom operator.

Lee joined HGC as Director, Network and Engineering in 2019, bringing with him over 35 years' experience in the telecom network and ICT industry. Prior to that, Lee had held key managerial positions at a number of leading telecom network operators in Hong Kong and overseas. He has deep experience in building telecom networks and systems from scratch and engineering network services with the right technologies and processes.

AnnouncementsAdmiralDigitalMarketing technology consultancy has acquired Fresh Sports Group (FSG), strengthening its consultancy offering across the entire digital spectrum. Following the acquisition, FSG will be renamed admiral.sports and serve under the umbrella, signalling a new chapter in the company’s growth story.

Packing an experienced punch, the new team brings to the table expertise in brand creation, content development, campaign execution and business strategy. The uniting of the two companies enables to enhance its executive team, strengthen its marketing technology consultancy offering and expand into an exciting new sales channel - sports.


AnnouncementIndosatOoredooIndosat Ooredoo and Snap expand their partnership to accelerate the adoption of augmented reality (AR) in Indonesia. Through this strategic move, Indosat Ooredoo and Snap aim to drive innovation within the field of AR, while empowering creativity and engagement amongst IM3 Ooredoo users, Snapchatters, and brands.

Over the next year, Indosat Ooredoo and Snapchat will launch several programs to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds with AR, and bring communities and businesses closer together despite the pandemic. Some of these programs include the launch of an AR Creator Fund, opening the door to fund opportunities for Indonesian creatives working in augmented reality. This program will include webinars, competitions, and potential job opportunities for participants. In addition, Snap plans to launch a new AR Lens each week for Indosat Ooredoo subscribers; while Indosat Ooredoo will provide subscribers data offers for new Snapchat users on their plans enabling them to maximize their engagement with AR experiences on the platform. As part of this partnership, Indosat Ooredoo has also been appointed as an authorized sales representative for Snap to manage advertising opportunities for the Snapchat platform in Indonesia.

AppointmentsAnymindAnyMind Group, a business enablement platform that provides technology and solutions for marketers, publishers, business owners and influencers, has announced three leadership appointments, including Nguyen Thi Ha My as Country Manager, Vietnam, Ryuji Takemoto as Managing Director, Product Development, and Wing Lee as Country Manager, Taiwan.


1. Nguyen Thi Ha My has been promoted to Country Manager, Vietnam, AnyMind Group. She joined AnyMind Group in 2018 as Head of Integrated Business, Vietnam, AnyMiind Group, and previously held roles across the marketing and advertising industry in Vietnam, including Happiness Saigon, Daybreak Digital, Dream Incubator and Customer Smile JSC.  She is responsible for AnyMind Group’s business and operations for Vietnam, encompassing over 140 staff across two offices in Ho Chi Minh City and one office in Hanoi.


2. Ryuji Takemoto, formerly Head of Product Development, AnyMind Group, has been promoted to Managing Director of Product Development, AnyMind Group. In his role, Takemoto is responsible for leading the product development team based out of Tokyo, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. The team works across AnyMind Group’s proprietary platforms including AnyTag, AnyCreator, AnyFactory, AnyLogi, AnyManager and AnyDigital. Prior to joining AnyMind Group in 2016, Takemoto worked in product development for various companies across mobile applications, games, and news applications, along with a Japan-based ad network that he co-founded.


3. The company has also appointed Wing Lee as Country Manager, Taiwan, AnyMind Group. She joins AnyMind Group from Dotmore Media where she spent close to a decade at and was most recently Vice General Manager. In her new role, Lee oversees business and operations in Taiwan across AnyMind Group’s offerings in influencer marketing, cloud manufacturing, e-commerce, logistics, media monetization and advertising.

AnnouncementsSingExSphereTemasek and Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) have entered into an agreement to merge their respective meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) subsidiaries, SingEx Holdings Pte. Ltd (SingEx) and Sphere Exhibits Pte Ltd (Sphere Exhibits), to form SingEx-Sphere Holdings Pte Ltd (SingEx-Sphere). Temasek will own 60% in SingEx-Sphere, with SPH owning 40%.

SingEx-Sphere aims to be a regional MICE market leader for hybrid events driving best-in-class solutions from a combined portfolio of events management, venue, and consultancy businesses.

Notwithstanding the short-term challenges posed by COVID-19, the parties see tremendous potential in the MICE space. Singapore, for instance, remains a dynamic business hub with a spanning ecosystem that connects businesses globally. The region was the largest MICE market in 2019.

The merger brings together two leading MICE players with an ambition to become a MICE industry champion of growth for the Asia-Pacific region. Driven by an intrepid team of cross-disciplinary specialists, an established track record in holistic venue and events businesses hybrid or otherwise, and multiple awards and accolades in designing impactful experiences, SingEx-Sphere will be in a unique position to provide end-to-end solutions within the MICE industry, fostering the development of new value creation and communities as industries intersect in a post-COVID world order.

Mr Robin Hu will be appointed Chairman of SingEx-Sphere. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

AnnouncementsGoogleGoogle is launching Startup School, a series of free, hands-on virtual courses for startup founders and their teams across Asia Pacific. Although providing training programs for start-ups for years already, it was only last year when Google fully went digital: Startup School expands on that experience. With this new program, Google hopes to help start-ups navigate new obstacles brought about by the global pandemic and tackle the major regional issues. The interactive sessions will cover a range of topics, from digital marketing and product knowledge to business strategy. The sessions will be led by Googlers, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders from around the world—with one training per week for the next 12 weeks. Participants can choose from a variety of topics and register for the courses that will best support their goals.