November 10, 2016 – GEE has entered into a strategic alliance and an investment agreement with Shareco, an affiliate of HNA Group, which is one of China’s largest conglomerates. Under the terms of the agreement, GEE will sell its equipment, including its Airconnect antennas, network services and engineering and product support directly to the joint venture. The joint venture in turn will be the exclusive provider of IFEC to HNA’s airline interests, which have a fleet of over 320 aircraft today, expected to grow to over 500 aircraft in the future.
GEE currently operates live connectivity and television services in the Chinese IFEC market, and since 2013, GEE’s Chinese growth program has included investment in a Beijing office, local engineers, partnerships with Chinese media and advertising firms, connectivity trials and teleport infrastructure. GEE works with all of the Tier-1 telecommunications providers in China and, upon implementation of the joint venture, expects to be well-positioned in the highly competitive China IFEC market, with the venture having exclusive access to aircraft comprising a significant portion of the Chinese commercial aviation market. Currently, GEE has trial contracts with Shareco to provide services to several airlines within the HNA Group.
Shareco is a Beijing-based company that has developed and implemented an established advertising and passenger monetization model as the exclusive provider of e-commerce, games, content and advertising solutions to numerous airlines within and out of HNA’s fleet, including Hainan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines, Yangtze River Express, Tianjin Airlines and Okay Airways, among others. Shareco currently provides tablet-based IFEC services to over 200 aircraft.
“The transaction would bring together two industry leaders to accelerate IFEC adoption and improve the passenger experience in China. The completion of our joint venture with Shareco would accelerate our growth and solidify GEE as a major IFEC provider in the rapidly growing Chinese market,” said Dave Davis, CEO of GEE.