Walking through Shanghai is like wandering through a maze of old and new. Narrow alleyways lead out onto streets crowded with busy shops, open-air stalls and lofty signs – some lit up and others worn down. And high above everyone and everywhere you go, you can see huge, modern skyscrapers standing tall. They’re an ever-present reminder of the economic progress Shanghai has seen and is still experiencing. It’s clear that both old and new business is booming.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re growing our GoToMeeting service in Shanghai. We’re partnering with China Unicom, a leading telecom and the nation’s second-biggest by number of subscribers, to offer GoToMeeting as an integrated solution in their Ishcloud app family to their customers throughout the Shanghai metropolitan area.

Mobile-focused future

When we did market development a while back, we quickly identified China Unicom as a strong candidate for partnership. Not only is their operating revenue growing by 15 percent quarter over quarter, but they’re committed to accelerating the development of mobile networks. They added over 100,000 new data towers in 2012 alone. In addition, they’re focused on small, fast-moving businesses that are undergoing a lot of change and growth – customers with a need for technology like ours to support them as they adapt to new ways of working.

It was clear from the beginning that our solutions would fit in well with China Unicom’s business. By the time we started the talks, the folks at China Unicom were already active users of our products. In our meetings, they would frequently have tablets out with the English version of GoToMeeting on. Despite the language difference, they were able to recognize the value GoToMeeting brings to their own collaboration and the value it could bring to their customers.

First steps in Shanghai

Why Shanghai? We frequently hear that China is huge, but many of us never realize just how big it really is. To put it in perspective, the Shanghai municipality alone has over 23 million people – as many as the entire continent of Australia. It may be just one metropolitan area, but moving into Shanghai presents us with a great opportunity for growth.

In addition to its sheer size, Shanghai is also a cultural center for China. It’s a mecca for new technology and financial trading, just like San Francisco and New York are respectively for the U.S. All the new innovative products get launched there – it’s the city to begin in and the city to be in. China Unicom already has 56,000 business customers in Shanghai, which will give us a great head start as we look to expand GoToMeeting and the rest of our SaaS services in China over time.

It’s a great honor for us to partner with China Unicom. We’re confident that GoToMeeting, coupled with China Unicom’s strong reputation of innovative service, will resonate well with the emerging small and medium-sized business market in Shanghai – and China as a whole. And we’re willing to bet that business – both old and new – will benefit.