Rain, one of the most popular singers in South Korea, will be the face of mobile handset manufacturer Pantech as it makes a major push into China and other Chinese-speaking regions around Asia.

Rain, one of the most popular singers in South Korea, will be the face of mobile handset manufacturer Pantech as it makes a major push into China and other Chinese-speaking regions around Asia.

Pantech, South Korea's second-largest mobile phone maker, has struck a two-year deal with Rain, as the company says it is aiming for a 5% share of the Chinese market within the next three years. A spokesman said the deal was for a "sizeable" amount but declined to provide a specific figure.

Rain has become one of South Korea's most popular artists around Asia, selling out concerts from Tokyo to Beijing. "Rain has suddenly become a top artist in Asia, so we are making many deals with several big brands," says Jimmy Jeong, head of international business at JYP Entertainment, the label to which Rain is signed.

"China is an extremely important market for us," says Lee Sung-Kyu, president and CEO of Pantech. "The partnership will play a big role in helping us to realize our vision of becoming a major player in the fast-growing Chinese handset market."