German media giant Bertelsmann is to establish its fourth international office, in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

In a statement issued Dec. 8, Bertelsmann said the Beijing office would cultivate relations with government agencies and provide overall coordination and consultation for all Bertelsmann businesses in China, as well as encouraging cultural exchange between China and Germany.

"The new office gives Bertelsmann a face and an address in China," said Bertelsmann CEO Gunter Thielen in a statement. "For Bertelsmann, China is a gateway to Asia. By the same token, Bertelsmann can serve China as a gateway to the world.

Michael Smellie, former Sony BMG COO and since April president of Asia Pacific media development for Bertelsmann, will have his headquarters in the new office. Bertelsmann says Smellie will represent its interests in Asia and support its corporate divisions with acquisitions and new business start-ups.