• 623px-Viacom_18.svg.png

623px-Viacom_18.svg.png (Photo : Wikimedia)

Viacom 18 Media, the joint venture between Viacom and Network 18, has inked a deal with China's vivo Electronics to help sell the smartphone maker's third and fourth generation handsets in India.

Viacom 18 owns and operates various channels of the Viacom Group as well as manages various Viacom consumer products in India. It also has its own Viacom 18 Motion Pictures which handles the acquisition, production, syndication, marketing and worldwide distribution of full-length feature films.

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The company's partnership pact with vivo Electronics involves the strategic marketing, communication and promotion of the vivo brand of smartphones in India. Viacom 18's INS, in particular, will reportedly be offering marketing platform on its music and comedy channels in the country for the vivo products.

Sudhanshu Vats, Viacom 18 CEO, said in a statement: "The collaboration opens new avenues for media conglomerates to go beyond the perception of being a mere vehicle for advertisement. With a network like ours--with multi-screen, multi-platform, multi-regional presence--that caters to vivo's core TG of 18 to 34, we make for an ideal partner to provide complete brand solutions."

vivo is now the sixth largest smartphone company in China, after having just been launched in 2011. It has also started venturing into the overseas markets only this year.

Aside from India, vivo now maintains regional divisions in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar.

Currently, vivo has three product lines: the X series, the Xplay series and the Xshot series of mobile phones. The company also presently only sells its smartphones offline in brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

According to vivo Mobile India director Jacky Liao, the company plans to launch four models of 4G and 3G handsets in India and intends to keep price in the range of under Rs 10,000 to Rs 35,000.

He also said that they will support Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for "Make in India."

Liao added: "We would set up our own manufacturing facility in India in the next three years."