SK to help build $1 bil Beijing digipark

Aid to Beijing project could open door to Korean firms

SEOUL -- SK Telecom said Tuesday that it will help the Chinese government build a $1 billion digital content and industrial design complex in Beijing by 2013, a move that could help South Korean companies establish new markets in China.

SK, South Korea's largest mobile telephone service provider, signed a memorandum of understanding in the Chinese capital to create a 200,000-square-meter complex linked to the local government's plans for a high-tech industrial park in the southeast to be called Beijing Culture City.

The long-awaited arrival of 3G communication services in China is expected to boost demand for digital content, said SK Telecom which, like other South Korean telecoms, is looking to expand beyond its saturated home market.

South Korea, with a population of 49 million people, is home to 41 million mobile users.

SK already has numerous media projects in China, including controlling stakes in Beijing Taihe Rye Music and the online gaming company Magicgrids Networks. SK entertainment affiliates JYP Entertainment and iHQ also are developing projects in China.