Japanese electronics giant Sony is doubling its marketing spend in China as it tries to establish itself beyond the 'bamboo curtain'.

The company has operated in the country since 1978, but Kei Kodera, chairman of Sony (China), admits that "the Sony brand is [still] quite new to Chinese customers".

The manufacturer has high hopes for the rapidly expanding Chinese market and is keen to turn itself into a household name. It is doubling its marketing budget -- details of which have not been disclosed -- in a bid to exceed 50% sales growth in the fiscal year ending March 2005.

In the twelve months to March this year, Sony's sales in China surged 70% to $1.7 billion (€1.4bn; £1.0bn), about 3%-4% of global electronics revenue. The company has set a target of $10bn in Chinese sales by the fiscal year ending March 2009.

The electronics firm will target Chinese consumers in their twenties, a market with a sophisticated understanding of digital technology.

Data sourced from: Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff