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Hosi Simon on VICE’s Asian Ambitions


VICE is looking to position itself as the number one youth media company in every market it launches in across the Asia Pacific, regional CEO Hosi Simon said at APOS today, noting the company’s strong commitment to India and upcoming plans for China, the Philippines, Thailand and Korea.

Simon is based in the company’s AsiaPac headquarters in Singapore, with highly autonomous local offices across the region. The last few months saw the launch of VICE India with Times of India Media Group. Simon referred to it as the “most ambitious launch we’ve ever done. We have a TV block, our full agency business, a studio that is producing scripted, feature films, short form, long form.”

The company is launching a feature film with Indonesia’s Go-Jek, directed by Joko Anwar, in 2019. “We have a huge slate of originals for Go-Jek as well.”

Simon added, “We are trying to create the number one youth media company in each of the territories we operate in. 70 percent of all the content we create is local. If you create something that is locally relevant, it will have global significance.”

The VICE businesses will vary across territories. “Being here isn’t about bringing VICE to Asia; it’s about creating something that is native, distinct for each local culture, each local media market, each local youth culture. The VICE brand can be very elastic. It doesn’t have to mean the exact same thing as it does in the rest of the world. It should speak to young people right now finding their voice, distributing their own stories, making themselves heard. We stand for that generational shift, that moment when young people take control of their cultures.”

Storytelling is at the company’s core, Simon added, regardless of platform.

VICE will be exploring further expansion in the region this year. Simon said in the second half of 2018 China will be a focus, along with the Philippines, Thailand and Korea.

“We’re here for the long term,” Simon said. “We believe the cultural center of gravity of the world is moving to this part of the world.”

About Mansha Daswani

Mansha Daswani is the editor and associate publisher of World Screen. She can be reached on mdaswani@worldscreen.com.


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